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Massena Salvation Army commanders transferred to Binghamton

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MASSENA - After a three-year assignment in Massena, the commander of the Massena Salvation Army has received marching orders for a new post.

Capt. Ronald J. Heimbrock, who arrived in Massena with his wife, Capt. Marilyn Heimbrock, and daughter, Alyssa, on July 1, 2009, will be taking over as commander in Binghamton, replacing the retiring commander there.

“Our official last day is Sunday, the 24th (of June). We have a spiritual retreat session in Massena on the 25th. We’ll probably stay an extra day for that,” Capt. Heimbrock said.

He said he received a phone call notifying him of his new assignment.

“The officers we’re replacing in Binghamton have been there for 12 years,” Capt. Heimbrock said.

Prior to their Massena assignment, the Heimbrocks had served in Connecticut for seven years and most recently in Olean. The commanders they replaced in Massena, Majors William and Cecilia Lynch, took their place in Olean.

Incoming commanders for the Massena Salvation Army are Lieutenants Russell and Cynthia Crowsen, who are transferring from a post in Massachusetts.

Capt. Heimbrock said they’ll miss the friends they’ve made while in Massena.

“It’s been great up here in Massena. People have been really wonderful - warm, very helpful and very supportive,” he said.

The Heimbrock family arrived in Massena at a time when the community was still lamenting the loss of the proposed Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, which was scheduled to be built on Water Street.

“Coming after the Kroc Center fell through, we didn’t know what to expect,” Capt. Heimbrock said.

During his tour, Capt. Heimbrock was instrumental in locating a deceased soldier’s family after they received a donation that included his Purple Heart certificate and a picture of the soldier.

Relatives of Sgt. Richard Owen, who died on D-Day, were presented with the certificate and picture in 2010 after they were located following a search that included articles in several local and national publications, including the Washington Post.

As they prepare to leave Massena, that will be among the memories they’ll take with them, along with “the special fundraising that we’ve done and the Christmas efforts,” Capt. Heimbrock said.

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