Veteran Heroes of Highland Beach


Lieutenant John Bury

World War II


John Bury has a special place in history being one of the few navigators left from WW II who flew on the massive B-17 Flying Fortress bombers of the Eight Air Force, based in Polebrook, England.

Click here to read more about John's story.

Colonel Peggy Brown & Lieutenant Colonel Ron Brown

1965 to 1999


In our effort to capture the stories of military veterans during and after their service to our country, we learned of two heroes who stood side-by-side for decades. Between them, they served in the United States Air Force for 52 years.

Click here to read more about Peggy and Ron's story.

Major Father B. Horgan

Afghanistan / Iraq


Father Brian Horgan, Parish Pastor of St. Lucy Catholic Church in Highland Beach, joined the US Air Force and went to Officer Candidate School (OCS) to become a commissioned officer serving as a social and trauma counselor.

Click here to read more about Father Horgan's story.


Sergeant Martin Sylvester

World War II


Martin Sylvester’s heroic story began in 1943 when he joined the U.S. Army at age 18. In his “A Memoir by Martin Sylvester, The War Years: June 1943 to December 1945,” he wrote about his harrowing war tale in hopes that his family and others “will never have to experience the horrors of war”.

Click here to read more about Martin's story.

Sergeant John Rand

World War II


Vice Mayor John Rand joined the US Army Signal Corps in 1942 as a member of the radio communications team for US and Allied forces. He was trained at Fort Monmouth, N.J., on the technology of the day, especially “Morse Code” to become a fixed radio station operator.

Click here to read more about John's story.

Staff Sergeant David Stern

1963 to 1969


Although David Stern graduated from Pace College in New Your City and was given an opportunity to start his career with a good job offer in retail supply management, in 1963 Dave decided to join the Army Reserve and fulfill his military service.

Click here to read more about David's story.

Major Rick Greenwald

Vietnam War


Originally from New Jersey, Rick attended Princeton University from which he graduated cum laude in Politics. He went on to medical school at Mt. Sinai in New York and earned recognition as the Class Valedictorian. Following graduation, he began his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai.

In 1971, the war in Vietnam was ongoing and the military was in chronic need of physicians. Dr. Greenwald volunteered for the “Berry Plan” which fixed a date of service at the completion of residency.

Click here to read more about Rick's story.

Lieutenant John Shoemaker

Vietnam War


After college, two incredible years followed when Commissioner Shoemaker enlisted for Officer Candidate School, completed basic and advanced infantry training, completed airborne school to be a paratrooper. He married his wife, Paula, survived OCS, became a training officer at Fort Benning, and had a son three months before he left for jungle school training in the Panama Canal Zone and then off to Vietnam in March 1970.

Click here to read more about John's story.

Sergeant William "Billy" Kraft

Vietnam War


William “Billy” Kraft was the Point Man for Charlie Company in the Second Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Division. In combat, when a platoon or a company of soldiers march towards the enemy, someone has to be “first” in line. That someone is the “Point Man” who is the literal point of the spear. It is considered the very worst position as the most dangerous.

Click here to read more about William's story.

Captain Randy Elliott

Vietnam War


Randy Elliott spent 17 months in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968 and experienced some of the worst fighting of the entire war in areas from the Central Highlands to Chu Chi to the defense of Saigon.

Click here to read more about Randy's story.

Colonel Claude Schmid

Afghanistan / Iraq


Claude Schmid joined the Army as an officer, he was assigned to an Armor unit in Germany responsible as a tank commander for a platoon of M-60 A3 main battle tanks. His mission at that time in the 80’s was to ensure combat readiness, given the Russian threat to Europe.

Click here to read more about Claude's story.


Captain John Boden

Vietnam War


John’s military life started when he was not doing well in college and needed some growing up to do. So, he did what any red-blooded American boy would do, he quit and joined the U.S. Marines. After going through Paris Island and other rigorous training that all Marines must endure, somehow, someone thought he might have what it takes to be a pilot. John took the extensive tests, even though he had no college degree, and was selected to become a Marine Cadet or “MARCAD.”

Click here to read more about John's story.

Lance Corporal Jeff Remas

1982 to 1988 & 1992 to 1995


At the ripe old age of 17, Jeff was excited about joining the Marines in July of 1983 right after graduating from Nanticoke High School in PA. After enduring the famous boot camp at Parris Island and taking a battery of tests, he was assessed to be smart enough to be sent to “avionics” school in Tennessee. Jeff was ready to take on any challenge.

Click here to read more about Jeff's story.

Officer Dwayne Fernandes

1986 to 1990

Officer Dwayne Fernandes

Dwayne went to St. John Paul High School in Boca Raton, and with his parent's approval, he joined the Marines at the age of seventeen. He wanted to join them since he thought they were the "toughest outfit" and "if I can make it with the Marines, I can make it through most anything in life."

Click here to read more about Dwayne's story.

Sergeant George Reid

Afghanistan / Iraq


Originally from Jamaica, Officer Reid came to Miami in 1993 and went to North Miami High School. With his uncle’s past in the British Army as an MP (military policeman) and his father’s experience in the Jamaican Army Infantry, George wanted to join the US Marines. As he left for the famous Paris Island facility for three months of training,  it was a turning point for him and his future.

Update: We are proud to announce that George Reid was named Highland Beach Police Department Officer of the Year for 2022!

Click here to read more about George's story.


Sergeant Ben Bishkoff

Vietnam War


Ben Bishkoff’s basic training was in San Diego and he elected to deploy to the Pacific area – initially stationed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, he was assigned to the USS Renshaw DD-499, a destroyer with a 300 members’ crew.During the war, Mr. Bishkoff’s primary missions included aircraft or “plane guard” to follow up on any potential aircraft mishaps in the approach/take-off from the carriers.

Click here to read more about Ben's story.

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