By Jasmine Willis
WAYLAND — It was important for the memory of a compassionate young woman who touched so many lives to stay alive in this trying time.
The Sgt. Devin A. Snyder Memorial Foundation had to cancel the Ride to Remember, which brings in hundreds of people a year to honor the memory of a local war hero.
Sgt. Devin A. Snyder made the ultimate sacrifice for her country on June 4, 2011. It is her family, friends, fellow veterans, and community that keeps giving back in her name every year.
This year the foundation chose to honor the Bath Va Hospital frontline workers for all the efforts they have made in this Covid 19 Crisis. The Sgt. Devin A. Snyder Memorial Foundation, Steuben County Sheriff’s Department, Wayland American Legion, Paul and John Paul Holubek, Dollars and Cents, Kings Market, and New York Chips all came together to make this event possible.
All of these men and women have supported the family in the past with the Sgt. Devin A. Snyder Ride to Remember. This year they supported them in a different way.
“We wanted to figure out how to still honor her on this day,” Kevin Mark, Wayland American Legion post commander said. “We have a few WWII Veterans left in the Wayland area, so it is nice to include this on D-Day. It is a nice way to honor frontline workers and veterans on the 76 Year Anniversary of D-Day.”
Paul Holubek shared that his father was in the famous battle on June 6, 1944. He was also on the famous battle of Iwo Jima. His son, John Paul Holubek is third generation military in the family. They both talked about the family truck having old photos from his war album of D-Day, Iwo Jima, and the Korean War. It was a nice way to remember and honor those who fought and gave all on D-Day 76 years ago.
Lt. Brian Logsdon, of Wayland drove the Sheriff’s Hum Vehicle with this local reporter able to tag along for the ride. It was a very unique experience being able to ride in a US Army vehicle to honor a fallen solider.
Logsdon said he has helped with the planning and ride for about four years now. His wife knew Sgt. Devin Snyder many years ago.
Todd Drake, Bath Va Hospital volunteer services greeted all of us and helped to handle the gathering of the department heads for the subs and potato chips giveaway.
“I grew up pretty close to the area, so I remember hearing about this when it all happened. I remember seeing the cars and bikes come up here for the event last year. I know our Chief Webster is very close to the ride, and he was sad we couldn’t do it this year. We are very thankful for this food donation. I know we have some night workers who will eat some of them too,” he said.
Kate Kozak, Bath Va Hospital recreation therapist and Kristin Kashmer, volunteer services were available to help with the food giveaway as well.
Dineen Snyder, Danette McInnis, Greg McInnis, Kevin Mark, Paul Holubek, John Paul Holubek, and Kristin Kashmer helped with placing the subs and chips in the boxes for all the departments as they came to get the food.
Dineen Snyder, Sgt. Devin Snyder’s mother, said she still wanted to do something to honor her daughter this year.
“It’s not the same thing we do every year, but it still feels really good to giveback. We need to help out the veterans no matter what. With this Covid 19 going on we knew our medical staff have been going through a very difficult time,” she said. “The Bath Va has always been so good to us. They have let us ride here and visit veterans here. We get to see K9 Twiggy who is so beautiful.”
Deputy Tom Nybek had retired K9 Devin last year. Now he has K9 Twiggy who has been very energetic and learning a lot from his fellow friend.
“It took a couple of days for them to form a brotherhood. I don’t bring the work home. Home is a safe place for them. I have a fenced in yard, so we get to go home and relax. I cuddle a lot with the both of them. My two young daughters love them very much. My oldest grew up with K9 Devin. My youngest is going to grow up with K9 Twiggy. I am very fortunate that they are both so good with my girls,” he said. “I try to stop in to see Dineen as much as I can. I am in Corning and they are in Cohocton so we don’t see each other as often as we like. I keep in contact with social media and phone calls. I have led the ride every year, and do my best to help out when I can.”
The next Sgt. Devin Snyder Ride to Remember is June 5, 2021. Be sure to honor her memory with a visit to the Zion Lutheran Church or a drive down the thruway. You can also visit the foundation at https://devinsnyder.com