COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: As vice president of the United Military Veterans of Kings County, a non-profit organization that co-sponsors the Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade, Aalbue organizes the event. Although the parade is now its 145th year, Aalbue has personally been involved since 1995.

“It is important that people come out to march and view the parade. We have held this parade in Bay Ridge for 20 years. We encourage people from all over Brooklyn to attend. [We are] inviting all veterans, including those from the most recent wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq, to march. They don’t have to belong to an organization to march,” continued Aalbue.

Aalbue is also a member of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 72 and of the W.E. Coffey-A.E. Wilson Post 688 of the American Legion.

CAREER: Aalbue served in the Air Force from 1967 to 1971. Aalbue describes himself as a “Vietnam era veteran” as he was stationed in Okinawa and Korea. Afterward completing his enlistment, Aalbue received an associate’s degree from Staten Island Community College and a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and went on to work for the Department of the Army for 30 years.

He worked for the U.S. Army recruiting battalion as the chief of public affairs and advertising, and then as the public affairs officer for Fort Hamilton. “The parade used to march on post and that’s when I became involved,” explained Aalbue. “It is a very important thing to make sure people remember all those who lost their lives.”

Continuing his public affairs career, Aalbue also worked for the VA New York Harbor Healthcare system.

LOOKING BACK: Aalbue was instrumental in the installation the Vietnam War Memorial Stone in John Paul Jones (Cannonball) Park, which has the names of 29 Brooklyn Vietnam veterans.

“My career and life in the military have played a major role in me getting involved in the community. Being involved is part of your DNA when you come from a family that was active in the community,” described Aalbue.

HONOR: For his work with the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion, Aalbue was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the second highest award for civilian service.

PERSONAL: Aalbue has lived in Bay Ridge for most of his life. For 12 years, he lived in Highland Falls when he worked at West Point, remarked Aalbue. Then he met his future wife, Marianne, who lived in Bay Ridge. “Growing up here and being a part of Bay Ridge all my life [made it easy to move back],” he said.

The Aalbues have one son, Tom, a police officer who lives on Staten Island with his wife and their two daughters.

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