The Uvanni Room
In January 2009 efforts were put underway to restore the armory club room to its original splendor and preserve its historical heritage. March of 2009 saw the establishment of Friends of the Utica Armory. As restoration efforts continued, we all came to the realization that we could, and should as a community, be doing more to support our locally based New York Army National Guard Soldiers and their Families. As the club room came to be more frequently utilized, it was aptly named The Commander's Reception Room. The first annual Commander's Winter Social was held January 16, 2010 and was enthusiastically attended by over 100 members and guests. As we have continued to evolve, the decision was made to re-name the Commander's Reception Room in honor of a fallen soldier of the New York Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry. The dedication ceremony and reception was held on September 11, 2010.
The Uvanni Room dedicated in honor of SGT Michael Uvanni
SGT Uvanni was born on March 13, 1977, the son of Kevin and Janet Boncella Uvanni. He was a 1996 graduate of Rome Free Academy and was a second team All-League Defensive End on the varsity football team. SGT Uvanni joined the United States Marine Corps in December of 1996 and served as a Mortarman until December of 2003.
In January of 2004, SGT Uvanni enlisted in the New York Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry in Utica, New York. August of 2004, SGT Uvanni deployed to Iraq to serve with B Co 2-108INF in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. SGT Uvanni died in service to his country on October 1, 2004 in Samarra, Iraq while serving with the New York Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry during Operation Iraqi Freedom II.
SGT Uvanni's awards and decorations include: The Bronze Star Medal, The Purple Heart Medal, The Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2nd award), The Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, The Iraq Campaign Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, The Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2nd award), The Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 'M' Device, The Army Service Ribbon, and the New York State Defense of Liberty Medal.