Schwank proposal naming Alsace Twp. Road, ‘Lance M. Vaccaro Memorial Highway' approved by Senate

A bill containing a proposal by state Sen. Judy Schwank that would name Route 12 in Alsace Township, Berks County, as the “Special Warfare Operator Chief (SEAL) Lance M. Vaccaro Highway” has been approved by the Senate.

“Chief Special Warfare Operator Vaccaro did not die on the battlefield; he died while conducting parachute training operations in Arizona,” Sen. Schwank said. “But he was a combat-tested leader and one who earned the utmost respect of the men and women he worked with. His bravery and dedication to country reflect well on Berks County. This road naming is an appropriate tribute.”

Vaccaro died March 6, 2008, after suffering injuries near Marana, AZ.

Born in Reading in 1972, Vaccaro graduated from Oley Valley High School in 1990 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1991.

Before his untimely death, the Special Warfare Operator Chief became a member of the Navy’s Elite SEALS in 1997 and was deployed to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Vaccaro earned the following military awards and decorations: Defense Meritorious Service Medal; three Joint Service Commendation Medals, including one with Valor; Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Joint Service Achievement Medal; four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals; two Combat Action Ribbons; Presidential Unit Citation; Navy Unit Commendation; Navy “E” Ribbon; Good Conduct Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Kosovo Campaign Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Armed Forces Service Medal; Sea Service Deployment Ribbons; NATO Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Rifle Expert Medal; and Pistol Expert Medal.

“Chief Special Warfare Operator Vaccaro embodied all of the elements of a brave soldier dedicated to the American cause: freedom and liberty,” Sen. Schwank said. “When people drive on Route 12, I hope they carefully note the signs that will soon mark Pricetown Road as the ‘Special Warfare Operator Chief (SEAL) Lance M. Vaccaro Highway,’ and I hope they never forget the ultimate price this man paid.”

Sen. Schwank made her proposal an amendment to House Bill 2072 and the Senate unanimously approved the legislation today. The measure will be returned to the House for concurrence before heading to the governor for his consideration.