The Citizens Voice reported Thursday Patrick J. Solano will be recognized by the Pennsylvania Society with its prestigious Distinguished Citizen of the Commonwealth Award. Click Here to read the entire article.
Solano graduated from Pittston Township High School and joined the Army Air Corps, where he saw combat in 23 missions. Based with the 8th U.S. Air Force Heavy Bombardment Group in England, he flew missions over several European nations, including the bombing of Berlin in late 1944.
He was awarded the Group Presidential Citation, the Air Force Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the European Combat Theatre Medal.
Solano was a Pittston Township school director. He later became executive director for the General State Authority, which after the 1968 constitutional convention became the Department of General Services. Solano became Deputy Secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources, and served as senior counselor to Governors Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker.
The PA Environmental Council presented its Thomas P. Shelbourne Award to Solano. He also received the United States Army Engineers Commander Award.
In 2013, Governor Tom Corbett named the new environmental education facility at Frances Slocum State Park, The Patrick J. Solano Environmental Education Center. Misericordia University named him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
Solano, 90, resides in Hughestown with his wife of 61 years, the former Marie Nocito.Society President Nick DeBenedictis announced Solano will be presented the high award April 22, at the Pennsylvania Society annual membership luncheon, which this year is being held at the Scranton Cultural Center. More than 400 guests are expected to attend.