Oneida (WSYR-TV) -- Central New York is full of American heroes. Madison County veteran John Ready has made it his mission to share the heroic stories of local veterans each and every day.
Retired Army First Sergeant Bill Middleton, from DeRuyter, is just one of the handful of local men being profiled by Ready right now. Middleton fought in Vietnam where he was wounded on the battlefield, but he refused to leave his men behind.
“He disobeyed a direct order from his commanding officer after he was wounded to get on a helicopter and leave. He stayed there and made sure everyone was out before he was,” Ready said.
Ready has since started the non-profit "Veteran Images” to showcase the service and sacrifice of local vets. He's been interviewing military men and women, and collecting pictures to put a face and story to their names.
“I had a lot of trouble transitioning back into society, into the community, I got back from Iraq eight years ago and I hadn’t been able to find anything relative or meaningful,” Ready said. “Every day should be Veterans Day, there are so many stories to be told,” Ready said.
Ready is also profiling Marine Jeremy Lasher who was killed 3 years ago in Afghanistan and Grove Havener who joined the Marines when he was 17 during World War II.
The stories of some local veterans are on display at the Oneida Library along Broad Street until November 21. They’re open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday until 5 p.m. and Saturday until 4 p.m.