Adam Zies-Way: Serving Local Vets and Remembering the People We’ve Lost
Adam Zies-Way wanted to serve in the military since he was a child. Growing up, he was inspired by the stories about both his grandfathers’ service in World War II--one at Pearl Harbor and the other during the Berlin Airlift.
In 2006, Adam joined the U.S. Army and after basic training he undertook advanced training as a small arms and artillery repairman. The next year he was sent to Uijeongbu, South Korea to run the armament shop repairing small arms rifles and pistols. In the space of one year he was quickly promoted from private to specialist.
Following his post in South Korea he was transferred to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. There he was part of the Army Evaluation Task Force. “We would get brand new equipment from the Army and test it in real-world scenarios. This included weapons, vehicles, and drones. We made sure that they worked and had durability,” Adam explains.
In 2010 he was honorably discharged due to injuries sustained and resumed civilian life. Yet, the values of his military service still loom large. “There’s no family like a military family. We may not talk often but when we do it’s for hours.” He reflects, “It’s amazing how far people will go to reach out when you need it.” When a tragedy hits, “We do welfare checks to make sure everyone is healthy and safe.”
That deep camaraderie led Adam to join the American Legion Post #178 in Millerton, New York as soon as he was discharged. American Legions were chartered by Congress in 1919 “as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness.” The Post in Millerton dates back to 1927 when the Legion held its first meeting in the Millerton Firehouse.
For Adam, the Legion translates into “a group of people who take care of the entire town. Older and ill vets get support. We help people through death and terminal illness. It’s a great support for people who live around me.”
This weekend, in the absence of a live parade, Adam says, “I’ll shave and get into my uniform. I’ll miss the people’s faces that I would have seen marching in the parade.” With pride and satisfaction he remarks, “I haven’t missed a parade yet. It reminds me of the appreciation people have for service members. We’re all doing this for the people that we’ve lost.”