By SHERIDAN CYR
It had been 68 years to-date since the North Koreans invaded South Korea, the beginning of the Korean conflict, on the day that five Southington veterans were honored with a medal of peace from the Ambassador of South Korea during the June 25th Town Council meeting.
The medals were presented by John DeMello on behalf of the veterans committee to two living Korean War veterans: Carl Jacobs (US Army), and Don Egidio (US Army). Three medals were presented posthumously to the families of three deceased veterans: Luther Cuffee (US Air Force), William Wiech (US Army) and George Simone Jr. (US Army).
“The veterans committee is honored to be here tonight to present these medals,” said DeMello. “Some of these men never got their medals and never knew the honors. This is just a little bit of the work the committee has done, but there’s a lot more to come.”
State Rep. Liz Linehan (D-103) and State Rep. John Fusco (R-81) attended the recognition.
“In the legislature, we are charged with making sure we are serving those who have served, and we take that to heart,” said Linehan. “It is very important to us that we spend our days making sure we pass bills that protect your healthcare and give you the services you need.”
As chair of the Connecticut veterans committee, Linehan assured veterans that the stories of their sacrifices will not be forgotten.
DeMello announced that one of the medal receivers, Carl Jacobs, had been submitted for a Bronze Star by the committee to Congressman John Larson’s office. The approval of the award was met by the Department of Defense, and Larson will be awarding the honor at an upcoming date.
The veterans committee will also announce and present a certificate and Vietnam commemoration flag to Town Manager Mark Sciota and the Town Council, designating the committee a commemorative partner in honoring all Vietnam era veterans, gold star families, and deceased Vietnam veterans posthumously on Veterans Day (Nov. 11).
The presentation is the result of a collaboration between the veteran’s committee, Bread for Life, Community Services and the Gualteri family at Fancy Bagels.
Southington’s veterans committee is a resource of information and connections available to veterans and their families. DeMello encouraged veterans in the audience to take advantage of the assistance they can provide.
“The partnership we have with the veterans committee is incredible, and we can’t thank you enough,” said Town Council chair Chris Palmieri. “This is very humbling to hear. We appreciate very much all that you do for the town.”
More info on the veterans committee page at southington.org/content/17214/25378/default.aspx
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.