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Maelstrom in WNY: We Are Who We Are Because of Veterans

How can we pay back Veterans for what they have given the United States? You often hear that question on this day as the various ceremonies around the community celebrate and honor those who served for their country. For some the debt owed is greater than others.

There are those Veterans who served in WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Dessert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan. Men and women who were in the heart of the action and have images that will haunt them until the day they die.

We have all watched the films, TV shows and read the books. There are stories of great heroism and tragic outcomes. Young men, barely out of high school put into situations that would test any ones heart and soul. Many left behind in graveyards bearing names we could not even pronounce. Then there are those who returned but left much of their selves behind.

Byron Brown's Political Career in Neutral

Not so long ago Byron Brown looked like a man on the rise in New York state politics. Brown was an easy winner in his re-election bid for Mayor of Buffalo and there was talk of being a serious candidate for Lieutenant Governor. The old downstate, upstate ticket and it didn't hurt that Brown was a young, well spoken minority to boot.

Then there was the scenario where Byron runs for Congresswoman Louise Slaughter's seat once she retires. That's still a possibility, but Brown's second term as Mayor has been a rocky road and the Karla Thomas episode isn't helping.

There was even a whole succession plan if Byron won a higher office.Senator Antoine Thompson would run for Brown's spot as Mayor, taking the same path from the State Senate used by Byron.

Gallivan Overcomes Party Bosses to Claim Volker's Seat

Pat Gallivan will begin his term as State Senator in the 59th District in January and owe no one in his own party. Gallivan defeated former County Chairman Jim Domalgowski, who had been anointed by County Exec Chris Collins and endorsed by Carl Paladino, in the September primary. Gallivan then went it alone in the general election, not riding the Paladino freight train like so many other locals. Now Gallivan is his own man owning a seat in a heavily Republican district for as long as he wants it.