SCHUMER & SLAUGHTER LEAD CEREMONY TO OFFICIALLY DEDICATE THE ROCHESTER MAIN POST OFFICE IN HONOR OF SPC THEODORE MATTHEW GLENDE, A HOMETOWN HERO WHO GAVE HIS LIFE IN COMBAT – SCHUMER & SLAUGHTER JOINED BY SPC GLENDE’S FAMILY, VETERANS & USPS OFFICIALS
Rochester Native Gave His Life During War in Afghanistan; Perished While Aiding Fellow Soldiers During Attack – Schumer and Slaughter Fought to Name Post Office In Spc. Glende’s Honor & Successfully Passed Legislation Last Year To Make Dedication A Reality; A Fitting Tribute to His Bravery and Dedication
Schumer Successfully Pushed to Secure Spc. Glende the Long-Deserved Posthumous Promotion to ‘Specialist’ from ‘Private First Class’ –And With Slaughter Worked With USPS to Get Them To Allow Exterior Signage on the Post Office So Entire Community Can Be Reminded of Spc. Glende’s Service
Schumer, Slaughter: Dedication Allows for the Rochester Community to Forever Honor and Remember Spc. Glende
Today, at the Rochester Main Post Office, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Representative Louise M. Slaughter led a ceremony to officially dedicate the Rochester Main Post Office in honor of Army Specialist Theodore Matthew Glende. Schumer and Slaughter were joined by Glende’s family, and U.S. Postal Service officials. They spoke about the Rochester native, who bravely gave his life in Afghanistan in July 2012 while assisting wounded fellow soldiers during combat. Schumer and Slaughter have long fought to secure this post office renaming, and successfully passed legislation in Congress last year, to make this dedication a reality. Schumer was first contacted by Glende’s family to help arrange for members of his unit to attend his funeral in 2012. Then in 2013, Schumer secured from the Army a posthumous promotion to “Specialist” from “Private First Class” for Glende, a promotion the family was promised but then denied until Schumer stepped in. In 2014, Schumer and Slaughter successfully passed legislation through Congress to rename the post office in Glende’s honor. Schumer and Slaughter also pushed to have the Western New York District of the United States Postal Service (USPS) agree to allow exterior signage on the “Specialist Theodore Matthew Glende Post Office,” which would allow his name to be displayed on the Post Office building. Schumer and Slaughter said that the renaming of this post office and the exterior signage will now serve as a fitting tribute to Spc. Glende’s dedication and service as well as allow the community to be reminded of his bravery. Schumer and Slaughter said this official dedication will allow for the Rochester community to forever honor and remember Spc. Glende.
“Theodore Matthew Glende was a great New Yorker and a true American hero. He gave his life for his country in order to aid his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan, making the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect the freedoms we all know and cherish. Someone as heroic as he deserves to have his legacy live on in an enduring way – as a memorial in his hometown of Rochester, and with the correct title of Army Specialist. Spc. Glende died a hero to his friends, family and the entire Rochester community, and I was proud to fight alongside his family to secure the proper posthumous promotion he deserves and then in Washington to pass the legislation needed to make this dedication a reality,” said Senator Schumer. “Renaming this post office and having Spc. Glende’s name proudly displayed out front for the entire community to see each day will serve as a fitting and lasting tribute to his bravery, dedication, and service to this country.”
“There is no greater sacrifice than giving your life for your country. Specialist Theodore Matthew Glende not only gave his life in combat, he did so while attempting to bring his wounded comrades to safety. Matt is a true hero. He joined the U.S. Army with the unwavering support and love from his wife, Alexandra and family, Ted, Ava Maria, and Eric,” said Rep. Slaughter. “Today’s dedication of the Rochester Main Post Office as the Specialist Theodore Matthew Glende Post Office serves as a lasting memory honoring the life and sacrifice of one of the most honorable and heroic members of our community in the greater Rochester area. As you visit and pass by this Post Office, may you always recall Matt Glende.”
In July 2012, Glende and his unit came under attack from small weapons fire by enemy forces in Kwar, Logar Province in Afganistan. During the attack, Glende assisted his fellow soldiers, some wounded, to take shelter in a nearby structure. As he was assisting the medic to attend to the wounded, the shelter was fired upon by a mortar, fatally wounding Army Specialist Glende. Those who served with Spc. Glende that day credit him with helping to save five members of his unit. Spc. Glende was part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade combat team, based in Vicenza, Italy and began his tour in Afghanistan in June 2012. Schumer and Slaughter said the dedication of the “Specialist Theodore Matthew Glende Post Office” in Rochester would now serve as a lasting tribute to Glende’s service to his country and bravery.
Schumer and Slaughter have long fought to rename the Rochester Main Post Office in Glende’s honor. In May 2013, Schumer stood with the family to announce he had secured the posthumous promotion promised to him, after the family encountered delays in receiving the official paperwork from the Department of Defense (DOD). Schumer fought for months to push for Glende’s promotion from Private First Class (PFC) to Specialist (SPC) after the family was first promised that he would receive the posthumous promotion, which was then denied until Schumer stepped in. In 2014, Schumer and Slaughter successfully passed legislation to rename Glende’s hometown post office in his honor – with his new and correct title – in order to make the dedication a reality.
In addition to the post office renaming, Schumer and Slaughter pushed to have the Western New York District of the United States Postal Service agree to allow exterior signage on the Specialist Theodore Matthew Glende Post Office building. Schumer and Slaughter said this would allow for the name of the post office to be displayed on exterior signs, in addition to the typical plaque displayed on the inside of a dedicated post office. Schumer and Slaughter said this exterior signage was critical and well-deserved after Glende’s service to his country.
Schumer and Slaughter were joined by members of the Glende family, Western NY Postal Service District Manager James K. Lentz, local veterans and members of the local Patriot Guard, and Craig Tesler of Premier Sign Systems, the Rochester company that graciously manufactured and donated the exterior sign in honor of Specialist Theodore Matthew Glende, at the dedication.
“It’s an honor to have Specialist Theodore Matthew Glende’s legacy of duty, courage and sacrifice forever associated with the Rochester Main Post Office,” said Western NY Postal Service District Manager James K. Lentz.
Schumer first became acquainted with Spc. Glende's family after his death in July of 2012, when Schumer immediately began working with Glende’s widow to secure travel waivers for Glende’s fellow soldiers and close friends to attend his funeral. Days before the funeral, the DOD had not yet informed Glende’s close friends in his unit if they would be permitted to make the trip to Rochester for the service. Schumer’s push to the DoD ultimately paved the way for his close friends Pfc. Alvarado and Spc. Griffin to attend the funeral as a unit representative and unit escort respectively.
Growing up on Park Avenue in Rochester and attending McQuaid Jesuit High School in Brighton, he was known as “Matt” to his family and friends. Then later he was known as “Theo” to his wife when they met working at the Pittsford Wegmans.