Daniel Vavas, a Vietnam War veteran and lifelong southern Brooklynite, has been honored by the New York State Senate with his recent induction into the New York Veterans Hall of Fame for his service in the United State Armed Forces, and for his civilian accomplishments.
The New York State Senate has inducted, in total, nearly 500 veterans into its Hall of Fame since its establishment in 2005. Mr. Vavas joins three other veterans inducted this year from Brooklyn.
Born in Park Slope, Mr. Vavas graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1965. He continued his studies at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus before being drafted into the United States Army in the summer of 1967. He was trained in telecommunications, radio operations, and radio repair, and after his training he served at Fort Hamilton Army Base in Brooklyn before deploying to Vietnam. In Vietnam, he was assigned to a U Boat (LCU) patrolling the waterways of the Mekong Delta and was honorably discharged in 1969 as a Spec 4.
Upon discharge, Mr. Vavas joined the American Legion and returned to Brooklyn, where he began his career as an insurance agent serving the community, as well as writing as a columnist contributor for the Brooklyn Spectator newspaper. Throughout his professional career he earned numerous awards, served on national industry advisory boards, and was selected as Insurance Agent of the Year in 1989, 9 years before his retirement in 1998.
Outside of his business, he has been actively involved in community service for many decades, including his service on the Board of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in multiple capacities, including that of Vice President.
“It is an honor to induct Mr. Vavas into the New York Veterans Hall of Fame this year,” said NY State Senator Andrew Gounardes, who nominated Mr. Vavas from his district.
“From his years empowering Cub Scouts to reach their fullest potential to his two years of service on a U boat in Vietnam defending our country’s highest values, Daniel Vavas has spent his whole life showing how deeply he cares for our community.
Additionally, Mr. Vavas has been a longtime leader in the local Boy Scouts community, as the Cub Scout leader of Pack 715 for 9 years, the 1999 recipient of the national Good Scouter Award, and a recipient of the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting, Prophet Elias award for his dedication to Orthodox Scouts.
Mr. Vavas also served as the President of the Brooklyn Council of the Boy Scouts of America as the lead volunteer in Brooklyn, and is the very proud father of two Eagle Scouts. In his retirement years, he has enjoyed spending time with his wife of 50 years, Sue, who is a retired public school teacher, and their family, friends, and four grandchildren.
"I feel grateful to have him as a community member here in southern Brooklyn, and thank him deeply for his service," Gounardes said.
Also inducted this year from Brooklyn are Nathan Szpilzinger, nominated by Sen. Simcha Felder; Stanley Sherman, nominated by Sen. Roxanne Persaud; and Joseph M. Skinner, nominated by Sen. Diane Savino.