GENESEO, N.Y., Dec. 8, 2022 - Sergeant First Class (SFC) Alva Merritt Pratt has been named the Livingston County Veteran of the Month in December. Born in Tampa, Florida and a graduate of Rush-Henrietta School District, Alva served active duty in the United States Air Force from July 11, 1974, until his honorable discharge on April 23, 1976. He continued his military service in the Army National Guard where he retired after 26 years of service.
Upon completion of Air Force basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Alva worked as a load master with the C-130 Hercules aircraft stationed at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas. After a short stint from active-duty, Alva rose in rank to Sergeant First Class with the Army National Guard where he worked as an Infantryman until his retirement. He started out of Geneseo and worked his way to Camp Smith as a Training NCO in Cortland before completing his time at Niagara Falls Air Force Base.
During his time as a guardsman, SFC Pratt was instrumental in the creation of the New York State Honor Guard that we see prevalent today at military funerals and ceremonies. First established in Geneseo where it began, it soon spread to Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo. During his time working with the honor guard detail, SFC Pratt worked up to the role of Commandant of the Honor Guard Academy. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Alva was deployed to JFK airport working security detail. In addition, he deployed serving active duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from April 2, 2008 until January 2, 2009.
For his military service, SFC Alva Pratt was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device, Nato Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge.
While serving in the National Guard, Alva has been employed over the years with Matthews Buses, Inc., beginning in Dansville and now in Avon since the company expanded. He is a 20-year member of the Conlon-Mulvaney American Legion Post 1779 in Conesus where he currently serves as membership chair and historian. He is also a member of the Lima VFW Post 26. His hobbies include bass fishing, modifying his cars and spending time with family. Alva lives in Conesus with his wife, Donna. They have three children and five grandchildren.
Are you interested in nominating a deserving former member of our armed forces for the Livingston County Veteran of the Month or learning more about veteran-specific events? If so, please visit the newly launched LivCo Vets website.
Stay up-to-date with the latest news, events and more by following Livingston County on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
About Livingston County:
Founded in 1821, Livingston County, N.Y., is comprised of more than 61,000 residents in 17 towns located across 631 square miles of the Finger Lakes region.