The Port Washington branch of the Veterans of Foreign Wars has announced the selection of Anthony L. Cava as co-grand marshal of Port's Memorial Day parade and festivities scheduled for Monday, May 28.
Anthony Cava was drafted into the United States Army on March 17, 1944. He received his basic training at Camp Croft, South Carolina where he was instructed in the use of rifles, mortars and machine guns. His first post was Camp Howsey, Texas where he was assigned to the 130 Infantry Division. From there, he was shipped to the European theater on a troop ship, which left from Manhattan and sailed to Marseille, France shortly after D-Day.
He first saw combat in the Voges Mountains, where his unit captured the town of Saint Die. His unit crossed into Germany on December 14, 1944 where he was wounded in his left knee with shrapnel from a 50 mm German mortar. Cava was flown from the battlefield to Thorpe, in southern England where coincidentally, his brother Robert was assigned as the military hospital administrator. He was awarded the Purple Heart as a result of his injuries. His recuperation also took him from Scotland to Cape Cod, Massachusetts and on September 13, 1945 he received an honorable discharge.
Cava pursued his education after the war by taking advantage of the GI Bill for veterans. He received an associate degree from the New York Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences, where he studied electrical technology. He continued his studies at New York University, where he received a Bachelor's of Electrical Engineering. In 1958, he began a lifelong career as an electrical engineer with various companies in the New York metropolitan area.
On April 29, 1951, he married his sweetheart, Betty, and began their family in their first home in Elmhurst, Queens. In 1973, they moved to the Beacon Hill section of Port Washington where they presently live. The Cavas are the proud parents of six children, including one deceased, Anthony, Jr., the grandparents of 12 grandchildren, one great-grandchild with a second grandchild due any day. They've long been active in St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church where they are daily communicants and serve in the Consolation Ministry assisting families enduring the trauma of losing a loved one. Anthony Cava's strong faith led him to become an altar server at St. Peter's when he was 70 years of age. He is a member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a Past Grand Knight of the Port Washington Knights of Columbus, where Betty is enrolled as a Columbiette. Both Anthony and Betty are active members of the Sons of Italy. He has been a member of the Queens County Council of Professional Engineers for 45 years.
He has high praise for living in and raising a family in Port Washington, although he is sympathetic to those retirees who feel compelled to leave because of escalating real estate taxes. Cava strongly supports our fighting men and women in Iraq. He described them as good soldiers and wished they had more in the way of materiels and resources to do the job.