Glenville

Late local member of the 109th Airlift Wing in Glenville honored on national country music radio show

Henry "Mike" M. Pokrzywka, top right, and Pokrzywka with his grandaughters Allison and Jennifer
Henry "Mike" M. Pokrzywka, top right, and Pokrzywka with his grandaughters Allison and Jennifer

Categories: News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County

GLENVILLE – A late local member of the 109th Airlift Wing in Glenville was honored on a national radio show that aired locally Sunday evening. 

Henry “Mike” Pokrzywka, who passed away in January at the age of 83, was saluted on “Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 with Fitz” in a segment for salutes to those who served in the military. The syndicated Country Top 40 show includes a countdown of the top 40 country songs of the week and airs locally on WGNA, 107.7 at 6 p.m. Sundays.

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Pokrzywka served with the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing for 30 years and joined the Guard in 1955 before graduating high school at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake. He attended Air Force training with a focus on hydraulics and retired in 1988 as a Master Sergeant and Crew Chief, his obituary reads.

In the dedication, host Fitz spoke of Pokrzywka, referencing his career and a memory of him from his granddaughter. Fitz also mentioned Pokrzywka’s 109th, noting that Pokrzywka loved his job as he remained  there for so long.

“After retiring, Mike loved to hunt and fish and spent time with his family,” the host reads, “and, according to his granddaughter Allison, who wrote in for this salute, he also made some fantastic homemade french fries.

“Allison said when my sister and I were younger, we would set at the table for hours while he made french fries and we would eat them faster than he could make them. Little did Mike know that he was also making memories in that kitchen,” the host continued.

Fitz then noted Pokrzywka’s passing in January, surrounded by his family.

“They are so proud of him and his service to his country,” the host said. “So, to honor Mike right now, here’s Montgomery Gentry and ‘Something to be proud of.'”

More on Pokrzywka from his obituary: Henry “Mike” Pokrzywka

Contacted Sunday via Facebook, granddaughter Allison Pokrzywka said she wrote in to the show’s host Fitz for the segment and the show selected hers to read on air on this weekend’s countdown.

“I think he would like it being honored on the radio,” she wrote.  

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