WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Querino Augusto (“Auggie”) Alteri is a die-hard Miami Dolphins fan.
However, he has a greater commitment to service. When he was 18 years old Alteri joined the U.S. Navy during World War 2.
“He without telling his parents, joined the Navy. In doing so, he lost his Italian citizenship because he fought against Italy,” Alteri’s Son, Paul explained. He served on minesweepers, he served on destroyers. He served on tankers.”
Alteri was an Italian immigrant but developed a strong passion for his new country. He served for ten years and rose to the rank of quartermaster, 1st class.
The sailor fought in both World War 2 and the Korean War before he settled down in Watertown with his wife Ida Jane.
The couple then started Alteri Bakery, which remains open in the City of Watertown.
“I cling to, from both my parents, but I know dad was a driving force and a work ethic,” Paul Alteri expressed. “He’s he’s the focal point of service in our family.”
These lessons have spanned generations and inspired his grandsons Santino and Vincenzo to enlist in the military out of high school.
Santino is now a lieutenant and his younger brother Vincenzo is a lieutenant, junior grade in the U.S. Navy.
“He doesn’t talk much about it, but the few times that he has talked about it, it was, ‘my goodness, I can’t imagine anyone that young to go through what they did,’” Santino shared. “That more or less motivated me or inspired me, rather, to follow in his footsteps and do the most that I can to fill those shoes.”
Santino has spent the last few years seeking national recognition for his grandfather. He’s worked with sports teams such as the New York Rangers and Miami Dolphins to get the 99-year-old veteran in the public eye.
His grandfather will soon be honored on the field at the upcoming Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills game in early January 2024.
“My dream was to have my grandfather recognized, and they’re doing just that,” Santino said. “So I can’t ask for much more. It’s such a great privilege to be a part of this, I am forever grateful.”
For the entire Alteri family, the story of their veteran, Querino Augusto Alteri, will never be forgotten.
“We all believe that he should be recognized as they all should be,” Paul Alteri said. “I’m really proud of what he’s accomplished. But the family that he raised, he and mom and that’s what I’m going to share.”
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