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A Family of Legionnaires

UTICA, NY -- Utica Post 229 Legionnaire Chris Urban and his son and daughter have a lot more in common than their family name.

Son John, 19, home on holiday break from college, was officially welcomed as the post’s newest member at the first meeting of the new year Jan. 7. A Navy ROTC sophomore at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, John spent 30 days on active duty this past summer, thus qualifying him for Legion membership.

His 20-year-old sister, Cathy, also a Navy ROTC midshipman at Villanova, is in her junior year, looking forward to completing her nursing studies and being commissioned as a navy nurse. She joined Post 229 a year earlier.

Cathy and John each won ROTC scholarships upon graduating from Notre Dame High School in Utica.

Their father, Chris, who is the post’s second vice commander, also won an ROTC scholarship to Villanova when he was at Notre Dame High. When he was commissioned as an ensign, he said, his plan was to serve the required four years and then pursue a civilian career.

However, “it just so happened that the stuff I was doing was a lot of fun,” he said. “I went to flight school and became a pilot.”

Twenty years later, after making some 1,000 shipboard landings as a helicopter pilot, Urban retired with the rank of commander, and started a Legion family tradition.

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