Veteran’s service so extensive, he needed extra honor brick
By BOB KEELER
WEST ROCKHILL, Pa. (AP) — There was already one brick for Capt. Patrick McNulty in the walkway in James Memorial Park that honors West Rockhill veterans.
It wasn’t big enough to fit in all the important information, though, so now there’s a second, larger one, which was donated by Landmark Monuments, the company that provides the bricks and does the engraving for the bricks in the walkway.
“Silver Star, four Purple Hearts, Ranger, he’s got quite a background,” said Landmark Manager Patrick Helverson shortly before installing McNulty’s new brick.
“The stories he can tell you,” said Suzanne Clarke, a member of the West Rockhill Township Park & Recreation Committee. “It blows your mind what he did.”
Patrick “Pat” McNulty, a U.S. Army Ranger who has lived on Thousand Acre Road for 48 years, served in Vietnam from 1966 to 1971.
After completing his field artillery officer training, he volunteered for Ranger training, he said.
The Ranger training in the winter included breaking through the ice on a pond and going into the frigid water, he said.
There wasn’t much sleep time during the training, he said.
“We averaged two hours a night for the entire seven weeks of the course,” McNulty said.
His weight dropped from about 175 to 135 pounds during the training, which included a minimum of food, he said.
“Everybody was losing like about 30, 40 pounds because you were on the go 22 of the 24 hours a day,” he said.
The Silver Star is the third highest military combat award presented to members of the United States Armed Forces, according to Department of Defense information.
Although his Silver Star was awarded years earlier, he didn’t know about it until he was presented with it in 2017, fifty years after the battles for which he was presented the honor took place, McNulty said.
While planning to go to a military reunion, he talked to his unit historian, who told him he’d been awarded a Silver Star, he said.