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Rivertowns Daily Voice serves Dobbs Ferry, Hastings & Irvington
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Rivertowns Daily Voice serves Dobbs Ferry, Hastings & Irvington

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Local Veteran Shares His Story as a P.O.W.

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – Joseph Merlino slowly walked through Embassy Hall in Dobbs Ferry on Friday shaking hands and sharing stories of his time in the military. Merlino didn’t merely serve his country though. He was a prisoner of war during World War II for nearly a year.

“I was on the line from June 10 and I got caught in August and then I stayed there until the following year,” he said.

Merlino was held as a prisoner in Germany for nearly a year when he served from 1942-1945 and his wife Marybea still gets emotional when recounting the hardship.

“When they caught him, they put him in cattle cars and they drove them and then they used to take them and make them work on the farms,” she said as a tear rolled down her cheek.

Veterans Day is a holiday that Merlino appreciates, but he feels that it should mean something more than it does.

“We thought it meant a lot, but we thought there would be no more wars,” he said.  “We thought it would be the last war.”

Rather than reflect on his own time in the military though, Merlino said the soldiers of today are on his mind the most.

“I feel bad for these kids today,” he said. “I feel bad about that.”

With veterans being honored on Friday, Merlino said the day is one that he appreciates if only for the fact that it causes people to stop and think about veterans of all ages.

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