Archive for January, 2012

Top Firefighter: The Learning Can’t Stop

January 24, 2012 | The Veterans Corner

If you’re a New York City firefighter, you have to be a better one each day you’re on the job, says Sal Cassano, Fire Department Commissioner, and a Vietnam veteran and John Jay College graduate. “Every day that you come in,” Cassano says, “you have to learn.” The commissioner, who started as a rookie firefighter in 1969, sees the demands as similar to armed forces. “You have to train, train and train, just like we did in the military,” says Cassano, who joins Veterans Corner host Pat Gualtieri to talk about his career, being a veteran, and why he loves being a firefighter.

Keith Little, Code Talker

January 18, 2012 | The Veterans Corner

Early in World War II, Japanese intelligence had cracked every secret code the United States had devised. Seeking a different approach, the U.S. enlisted the help of 29 young Navajo men to form an elite unit — the Navajo Code Talkers. Using their Navajo language, they devised and spoke in a code in the Pacific battle theater that was never broken, protecting the advantage of secrecy for the U.S. military. Keith Little served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Code Talker from 1943 until after the end of the war, and joined Veterans Corner host Donald Buzney to discuss the legacy of the Code Talkers, his recent appearance on the HBO series “The Pacific,” and a new project — The National Navajo Code Talkers Museum & Veterans Center, which is currently under development. Little passed away on Jan. 3, 2012, soon after this interview was recorded.