WARREN - ''Anything for the veterans, he will do,'' Carmela Mariano said of her husband.
The resume of James J. Mariano bears that out. He volunteers a couple times a month for coffee duty at the VA Medical Center in Youngstown, something he's done for about 17 years, and every December he's among a group who travels to the Ohio Veteran Home in Sandusky for bingo, pizza and cookies with the veterans there.
It's there he got the nickname ''the Gold Dollar Man,'' given to the 94-year-old by residents at the veterans home because of the $100 in gold dollar coins he gives away.
He maintains a planter that includes a flagpole dedicated to POW/MIA at ball diamond No. 3 at Packard Park.
He's been a member of the Trumbull County chapter of Disabled American Veterans for 32 years and also for many years, a member of the Mahoning Valley American Ex-prisoners of War.
For three decades now, typically the week before Memorial Day, Mariano has placed American flags on the graves of veterans at St. Mary's Cemetery on Niles Road. About five years ago, Mariano expanded his work to Potters Field, right next to St. Mary's.
For all of this, the Warren man was selected a 2012 Tribune Chronicle Community Star.
''I've always felt he just helps so much in the community and veterans mean so much to him,'' said Diana Marchese, one of the people who nominated Mariano. ''I felt he needed to be recognized. He is one of those people that is basically not in the forefront because he chooses not to be. He does it because he wants to.''
Mariano said the simple gesture of placing flags at veterans' graves is a token of respect for the people who fought for the freedom of others.
COMMUNITY:?Lifelong Warren resident
Activities / memberships: Mahoning Valley Chapter ex-Prisoners of War, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans Trumbull County Chapter 11. He also volunteers at the VA Medical Center in Youngstown and the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky.
And Mariano knows about the fight. He enlisted in the Army at 21 years old in 1941, ''nine months before the war broke out, and then we got stuck for the duration.'' He and other U.S. soldiers were captured in North Africa in 1943 by the Germans, who held him as a prisoner of war in Italy and Germany for 27 months.
The private first class was liberated in 1945.
He returned to Warren and to his job as a machinist at Republic Steel, where he worked for 41 years. Mariano also married his sweetheart, Carmela, in 1946. The two raised two children, James Jr. and Jeanne. The couple also has two grandchildren.
Vincent J. Flask, who also nominated Mariano, said he did so ''because of all the things he does. He is very patriotic-oriented.
''When he goes through the cemeteries, he can tell you where all the veterans are,'' Flask said. ''He knew a lot of them.''
Mariano said, ''I enjoy doing it. Every time I go to one of those graves, put down a flag, you think of them, remember them.''
St. Mary's Cemetery is special to Mariano for another reason - it's where his parents are buried. ''When he gets to his parents' graves, he would kneel day and and pray,'' said Marchese, who along with Flask and others have been helping Mariano place flags for about 10 years.
''He just a humble person, very likeable, just a gem,'' Marchese said.
''I enjoy doing it. Every time I go one of those graves, put down a flag, you think of them, remember them.''