Cameron Park vet survived Battle of the Hurtgen Forest
TOM VANO shows a studio portrait of himself in uniform with some of his World War II campaign ribbons. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins
As one of eight survivors of a platoon of 48; a Silver Star awardee from an encounter in the Hurtgen Forest where Allies were surrounded for 21 hard winter days; being wounded three times; a participant in the battle of the bridge at Remagen; successful in the career he loved and the husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather of large and loving family; Tom Vano considers himself to be a lucky man.
Vano, 88, of Cameron Park, gave his Silver Star to a family member, but he really didn't want it to begin with. It was a symbol of things he wanted to forget and reminder of brave men who died.
He grew up in Astoria, Long Island, and was friends, classmates and bandmates with the singer Tony Bennett, whose family had come from the same part of Italy, Calabria, as Vano's parents. Continue Reading