In honor of Veterans Day, TAPinto Paterson is running a series entitled “Heroes of Our City” to celebrate the service and dedication of our service members. Look out for a new profile of a local veterans between now and Veterans Day on November 11.

Don Hill

Don grew up in Paterson, attending Eastside High School, before joining the Navy. He served from 1979-1983 as an aviation maintenance administrator. His job was to keep logs and records on all airplanes and ground support equipment under his purview. He retired as a 2nd Class Petty Officer.

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His job took him all around the world, as a crew member on the USS John F. Kennedy and the USS Enterprise. His travels taught Don to respect different cultures and develop a “great respect and love for his fellow man.” It also instilled in him a great work ethic, and ability to be prompt and have a neat appearance. 

Carrying these truths with him as he carried the mail for over 3 decades as a postal service worker, Don committed to his values. Though he recently retired, he is still the President of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 120 based in Paterson. His lifetime of government work has taught him that “if you work hard, you’re going to achieve something.”

On the recognition of veterans by the city, Don is concerned. “I think Paterson falls short like most other cities.” He wants himself and others like him to have the opportunity to feel more appreciated and respected. He notes a positive trend in that “recently it has been a little better than before,” but thinks there is still much work to be done.

Don believes the military is a great option for every young person in the country. He sees it as a chance to find respect for all other cultures and nations. For those currently overseas, he offered his wishes that they are well and that they come home safely.

On Veterans Day, you will find Don at the event at the main post office in Paterson, which he has attended every November 11th for the past 15 years. He also makes time to meet up with a nephew who followed his footsteps into the military, so they can discuss their lives and years of service together. 

TAPinto Paterson would like to thank Don for a lifetime of service, dedication, and respect for his country.