YONKERS – Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins inducted veteran, Sgt. Ruby Carlisle-Thomas of Yonkers into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame last Wednesday.
The coveted honor was announced on Veterans Day, during the NYS Senate’s virtual ceremony to recognize distinguished veterans from across New York. To be selected for the esteemed award, individuals must have served in the United States Armed Forces and demonstrated service to their community or accomplishments as a civilian.
The Senate Majority Leader said Sgt. Carlisle-Thomas entered the military as a Morse Code operator in the late 1970s and worked for the National Security Agency (NSA). Due to her strong work ethic and expertise, Carlisle-Thomas was promoted to Sergeant in 1980. She then went on to receive the Army Good Conduct Medal for exemplary behavior and re-enlisted serving her country in both Germany and Japan because of her needed expertise and intelligence skills.
“Sgt. Carlisle-Thomas joined the army at a time when few women served in its ranks and that makes her a trailblazer,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “She worked as Morse Code operator for the NSA and was called upon to re-enlist in Germany and worked on special projects in Japan. We thank Sgt. Carlisle-Thomas and every veteran for their service to our country and for keeping us safe, here at home.”
“I am honored to have been inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame and to receive recognition from Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins,” said Sgt. Ruby Car-Thomas. “Senator Stewart-Cousins goes above and beyond to recognize veterans, and this comes at a time when we need more of that, I cannot thank her enough. From a very young age, I wanted to serve my country, and I tell people that can be done in the armed forces or right here in your own community.”
After Sgt. Carlisle-Thomas completed her military service in 1988, she did not stop serving. Now, she devotes her time to helping other veterans through a ministry at her church and runs a prison ministry for incarcerated young men. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Sgt. Carlisle-Thomas continues to volunteer in Yonkers and was an integral part of the community’s effort to feed those in need.
“Sgt. Carlisle-Thomas, like many veterans, has really given back to her community. She is most deserving of this esteemed honor from the NYS Senate,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “The Senate Majority continues to work on improving the quality of life for our veterans with opportunities like this to honor their service, and legislatively we continue to fight to protect the benefits and services veterans deserve and have earned.”
The Senate Majority has passed laws to protect veterans’ pensions, ensure Gold Star children can attend State universities tuition-free, allow veterans a property tax exemption, and expand veteran job placement within the SUNY and CUNY systems.