ONEONTA – Erich M. Wilkens, 76, of St. James Place, a Marine and decorated Vietnam War veteran, died Wednesday July 10, 2019, at his residence with his family at his side. Survivors include a daughter in West Oneonta.
He was born Oct. 17, 1942 in Oceanside, Long Island, son of the late John and Ilse Sperling Wilkens.
Erich was a veteran of the Marine Corps, having been awarded the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Rifle Marksman Badge. His service to his country continued with his membership with the Phoenicia American Legion Post #950.
RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Congressman Chris Gibson, R-19, this week presented Bob Barracco, a Vietnam veteran and retired Richfield Springs superintendent of schools, with a Purple Heart.
“Having served in combat myself, I am deeply honored to assist veterans who made extraordinary sacrifices in defense of our freedoms,” said Gibson while visiting Barracco at his home here.
Barracco joined the Army in 1968 and was deployed to Vietnam in January 1969. During his first tour of duty, he was injured as a result of enemy action. At the hospital, Barracco was recommended for the Purple Heart, but his military records were never updated appropriately.