Ken Moore served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, after being drafted in 1965. Like a lot of Vietnam veterans, he went through some tough times overseas, memories that stayed with him throughout his life.
But that didn’t stop him from wanting to help his fellow vets. When he retired from a 30-year career at Kodak, he worked for Monroe County in the Veterans Service Agency for a time. Laura Stradley used to head up that agency, now she is executive director of the Veterans Outreach Center where Moore was also active.
“He just made it his life’s work to ensure that veterans were cared for, that they had a friend, that they knew where they could turn to get guidance on benefits and to the point where he came out of retirement to work again as a service officer at Monroe County for me when I was there,” Stradley said.
WXXI News interviewed Moore in 2017 as part of a series about Rochester’s connection to the Vietnam War. One point he made in the interview that helps explain his devotion to his fellow vets has to do with the deep bonds forged between soldiers in battle.
“You know you have to remember that we had each other’s back throughout the whole thing, and there was nothing you wouldn’t do for one of the other guys, you know what I’m saying.”
And that sentiment carried over to Moore’s involvement in helping get the Vietnam Veterans Memorial built in Highland Park, and his work with the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 20.
Moore was a past president of that chapter. The current president is Valentino Gatto.
Gatto says that Moore was dedicated to helping all veterans get what they deserved.
“He was very knowledgeable, he was a great friend, he was a great leader, he was a great mentor for me, and he will be missed by many. He helped many, many, brothers…veterans,” Gatto said.
Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo has ordered flags on county buildings to be flown at half-staff in Moore's memory.