Training: Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Sapper School, Tank training operating, Tank training maintenance
Medals and Awards: Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Service Medal, Overseas Service Medal, Expert qualified rifle M-16, Expert M.45 military pistol, Driver/mechanic badge for tank and wheeled vehicles, Demolitions and explosives training certificate
Combat engineer:Fort Leonard Wood, Camp Castle, South Korea, Bravo Company, Second Platoon, NBC Squad, PFC 3-3
John Robert Fedyszyn
Married: Cynthia "Joy" (Fulford) on May 16, 2009 in Beaufort, N.C.
Children: Cora Anne Fedyszyn was born Nov. 10.
John Robert Fedyszyn was born at Brooks Memorial Hospital on July 17, 1975. He is the son of John Edward and Darlene Marie (Wolfe) Fedyszyn. The family resided at 1 Sunset Drive, Fredonia.
John's father John Edward was a Marine who served in the Vietnam War as a forward observer radioman. His grandfathers, John Bernard Fedyszyn and Robert Francis Wolfe also served their country during wartime. Grandfather John was a LST sailor who served in World War II during Operation Tiger, the rehearsal for the landings for the D-Day Invasion. John's grandfather LST 507 was hit by a German submarine torpedo and was sent to the bottom of the English Channel. His grandfather was one of 17 sailors who survived that attack. He later served in Korea
His grandfather Robert was a soldier who also served in the World War II and Korea. During World War II, he saw action in the European Theater.
The Sunset Drive area of Fredonia was a wonderful place to raise a family and for all kids to grow up. John's father worked for Niagara Mohawk as a chief electrician and his mother worked at the Sidey's store located at the D&F Plaza. John was the baby of the family. He has three older sisters Kimberly (Eirik) Ellis, Julie (Jason) Spicer and Jennifer (Brad) McIlvain.
Sunset Drive was the site of many parties throughout the year. It seemed that every other week some family had a party going on. The street seemed always full of parked cars, especially during football season. At the young age of 14 John became an avid Oakland Raiders fan. Every weekend was spent in the home's back Raiders bar watching his Raiders. Back then the large 8 foot satellite dish planted in their backyard received the games.
One of John's greatest thrills came when his dad took him to the Pro Football Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. They were inducting Mr. Al Davis, then owner of the Raiders. His dad John got to talk to Davis and he received Davis' autograph. John later heard from his dad's friend who works for the Raiders that very few if any ever got Al's autograph.
Back on his fifth birthday, John's mom took his picture as he placed his right foot on the step of the yellow bus ride for his first ride to kindergarten. The bus took him to Fredonia Eagle Street School. Within a few years he moved on to the Fredonia Middle School.
When high school came John decided to attend Fredonia High School and BOTCHES vocational school. He signed up for the electrical trades shop. He loved the electrical field. Even as a child, he wanted to go with his dad who when not working at the power plant wired new homes. When he wasn't wiring with his dad he worked for Gus Potkovik and the party jumper, a job that was part time and a lot of fun. While taking electrical at BOCES he earned the title of student of the week in electrical trade shop more than once. When he wasn't in the shop he also played football and track. Fedyszyn graduated in 1993 from the Fredonia High School and received letters in football and track.
He worked for Tops Markets for awhile after graduation. He realized that there was more money being an electrician than working part-time at a supermarket. He decided to take the master electrican's test in the city of Dunkirk and become his own boss. After aceing the test he wired homes with his friend Tim Wdowiasz. The two were young and enjoyed the good times in life. His dad nicknamed them"after eleven electric" because the two had trouble starting the day at 8 a.m. like most electricians. But by 11 a.m. the two were at Jamestown Electric picking up parts for the day and still completing all jobs they started. The two electricians did well and had as much work as they could handle. He later took over the Village Electric A Company his dad had run and began doing residential wiring around the Dunkirk-Fredonia area. Tim Wdowiasz then started TW Electric which is still going strong to this day.
In the fall of 1993, Fedyszyn went to college. He applied to and was accepted at Alfred State College. He received his Associates degree in Applied Science in electrical engineering. While attending Alfred he belonged to Kappa Sigma Epsilon Fraternity which he claimed made college a great place to be on the weekend. He also played rugby.
Fedyszyn graduated in 1996. He wanted to serve is country. He took his basic army training at Fort Leonard Wood. After boot camp and his engineering training he was shipped to South Korea and did a tour at Camp Castle. While there he was assigned to Bravo Company, Second Platoon whose day to day duties were to maintain all heavy equipment associated with tanks and the army's self-propelled artillery pieces. Duties required that all equipment be 100 percent ready at all times.
Being stationed at a base in Korea during peace time made for some long days, since he was young and so far away from home. Korea in its own way did have perks. Since he was stationed near Seoul he took some great weekend trips to the city. When the Liberty Clock rang for your platoon it was off to Seoul for the weekend. It was amazing to see all the colors and customs of this country he was spending a year of his life in.
When his military obligation was completed, he came back to Fredonia. He had his master electrician license under his belt so he could start up where he left off.
After a few months his high school friend John Schwert talked him into moving to Wilmington, N.C. because the job market out there was wide open. Since he had a electrical background and his friend had a degree in finance each one saw a brighter future in North Carolina. A few months later another close friend Jay Rutski joined the two and Wilmington became the new club for the boys.
Within a week Fedyszyn received a position with Keller Co. that specializes in fire systems for schools, hospitals and industrial properties. He worked and gained the title of industrial fire alarm technician. After being established at Keller he was sent on work assignments to Greenland, Panama, Mexico and all over the states. He later was trained in the semi-conductor industry and special hazard suppression systems. Later he received the Nicet IV Certified Engineering Technician (CET).
With the certifications Fedyszyn started Safe International where his company built fire systems for multiple new high schools, college additions and received the award to completely rewire the Wilmington Airport fire system in 2008.
When the nation's economy slowed down, people in the industrial field could easily see the decrease in bids going out because many major building projects were being placed on hold. Even living in North Carolina one could see bids coming in from companies from New York to California, bidding low just so they could keep their companies afloat.
Business for Fedyszyn was good, but not what he expected. He wanted more in life. Once night when he was surfing the internet he found there was a position open at the Kennedy Space Center (NASA). The job required Nicet IV Certification. The job was U.R.S. Corp. fire alarm technician. A day after submitting an application he received a call and was told that this was one of his phone interviews. After answering all the questions he received another phone call a few days later, again answering all the questions that were asked. He was told he may get another call. The next day the call came and he was offered the position of fire technician at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, commonly known as NASA.
Fedyszyn and his wife Joy moved from Wilmington and purchased a new home in Cocoa Beach, Fla. He still runs Safe International and advises new construction projects about all the requirements needed for state and national fire codes for all commercial and municipal buildings. He also holds the FFL License that makes him a licensed Florida gun dealer.
This is a story of a man who served his country during peacetime. There was no draft. He had a master electrician license at 19 and a college degree. He wasn't out to get a chest full of ribbons or make it a career. His plan as to just serve his country and do his duty.
Before entering the service Fedyszyn was always with his friends John Schwert, Jay Rutski, Jeff Salemi, Dan Tomaszewski and Shawn Henessey. The group never missed a party. When deer season came they were out by 5 a.m. waiting for that buck to cross their paths. Hunting, fishing and canoe trips were on the summer schedule with always some reason for the group to return back home. The group members all get together and relive the old club Fed days back on Brigham Road.
This young man really didn't have to go and serve. This was one of the few times this country was at peace. The military really didn't have a lot to offer. If one went it meant that he wanted to serve and do his job. Korea was on the other side of the world. There were much better duty stations in the U.S. yet we needed military personnel to flex our muscles to the north. Serving his country was an honor. He was glad he had done his duty and can proudly say "I was a soldier." He is a good husband and is still close with his friends who are now scattered between Charlotte, Wilmington, Fredonia and the Keys.
A kid who went and did his duty, came home and started his life again, John Robert Fedyszyn is our Hero of the Week!