Rockland's Buffalo Soldier Award recipients: courage, discipline, service


Staff Sgt. Sherlie Louis received the Buffalo Soldier Award from County Executive Ed Day. Photo: Rockand County

An Air Force staff sergeant in the medical services and an Army veteran and former National Guards member have been honored with Rockland County’s 2023 Buffalo Soldiers Awards.

County Executive Ed Day and Director Susan Branam of the Rockland County Veterans Service Agency recognized Staff Sgt. Sherlie Louis of Nanuet and Army veteran Lee Edward Burns Sr. of Nyack during a Feb. 16 ceremony at the Rockland County Fire Training Center.

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 Buffalo Soldiers Award is presented annually to outstanding African American veterans who live in Rockland County.

“It takes a certain kind of person to place your own life on hold to put your country first but both awardees did it without hesitation,” Day said. “There’s no question, the freedoms we enjoy today would not be possible without the men and women who make the brave choice to serve our nation, including these local heroes, and it is my pleasure to recognize their courage.”

Louis is an Aerospace Medical Services craftsman in the 109th Medical Group of the Air National Guard. Louis joined the Air Force in 2012 to make a difference and give back to her community and country. She is working toward becoming a registered nurse.

Burns served in the Army from 1962-1965, then worked for the New York State Army National Guard for more than 30 years. He served his local church as an associate minister for nearly 40 years and is also a member of the Rockland County Minister’s Alliance and Baptist Ministers’ Evening Conference of Greater New York.

“We thank these individuals for their bravery and continued commitment 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,” Day added.

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Rockland County Executive Ed Day presents the Buffalo Soldier award to Army veteran Lee Edward Burns Sr. Photo: Rockland County
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