Buffalo Soldiers Award Ceremony

County Executive Ed Day and Director Susan Branam of the Rockland County Veterans Service Agency presented the 2020 Buffalo Soldiers Award to local veteran Ken Nurse during a special ceremony at the Rockland County Fire Training Center on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. Other local elected officials also attended the ceremony.

President and co-founder of the Rockland County Buffalo Soldiers Awardees Grady Anderson presented a history of the Buffalo Soldiers during the ceremony. The Buffalo Soldiers Award is presented annually to an outstanding African American veteran who resides in Rockland County. A “Buffalo Soldier” is the nickname first given to members of African American cavalry regiments of the U.S. Army who served in the western United States from 1867 to 1896, noted for their courage and discipline.

“The freedoms we enjoy today would not be possible without the bravery of men and women who served our nation like Ken. He embodies the American spirit and dedication to service. His commitment to his family, fellow veterans and his spirit of volunteerism is a true testament to his character,” said County Executive Day.

Ken Nurse is originally from Trinidad but moved to Rockland County in 1984. He entered the Army in March of 1980 and was an active member of the Army Reserves until 1987. When he retired as a Command Sergeant Major, he had 30 years of service. During his service, he earned several commendations:

  • Bronze Star Medal (1991 Kuwait/Saudi Arabia)
  • Army Commendation Medal
  • Armed Forces Medal
  • Army Achievement Medal
  • South West Asia Medal
  • Kuwait Liberation Medal
  • NATO Medal (Bosnia/Croatia/Hungary)
  • Global War on Terrorism Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (Iraq 2003/2006)


Ken Nurse is the father of five daughters and husband to Roslyn. He has three grandchildren. He has continued to serve his community since retiring from the Army. He has been active in the American Legion and was just elected the Commander of American Legion Post #199 in Spring Valley. He is a mentor with the PFC Dwyer Peer to Peer Program. Ken Nurse was also a member of the Committee that worked to create the Gulf War/War on Terror monument located at Haverstraw Bay County Park.

“We thank Ken for his bravery and his continued service to our residents. We are proud to list your name among the proud African American men and women who have been named to the Rockland County Buffalo Soldiers in years past,” concluded County Executive Day.

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