Commentary: Angels in our community

John DeMello, Southington Veterans Committee
John DeMello, Southington Veterans Committee
Phone: (860) 276-6299

I believe that there are angels among us, and they do amazing things for people every day. They are there in our time of need. They give their time to do amazing things to make our lives better. They are a ray of hope.

I met some of these angels, the Quilts of Valor, a group of amazing individuals that honor our military veterans with unbelievable quilts. For years they have quilted hundreds of thousands of quilts, wrapped over 250,000 veterans throughout America. Jane Doughtery, co-coordinator of Connecticut Quilts of Valor, has a phenomenal group of angels. During the presenting of the quilts, some of the veterans are overcome with emotion.

Jane tells a story about how the Quilts of Valor started. She tells each veteran the quilts are to be used every day. The smiles and joy these loving quilts provide to our veterans lets them know that their service to our country is appreciated.

I watched quilt’s being presented to veterans that had only months to live as a result of illnesses, some illnesses caused by their military service. I sat with a dying veteran who was covered with the quilt. When he clutched it in his hands, he felt at peace.

The good that is done in our community might seem invisible, but it is not. It leaves an imprint on the hearts of those that are blessed with the kindness.

Recently two young gentlemen, Brody Battaglia and Brodin Lord, asked not for themselves but for others.  Both Brody and Brodin asked for money for their birthdays in May—not presents. Then, they used the money to buy various items for veterans that in need. These are two more amazing angels that left an imprint on my heart.

We have so many angels doing so many amazing things for numerous causes in our community. Southington is a unique town that has a big heart when it comes to giving and helping others. The Southington Veterans Committee has a commitment to our veterans and their families, and these angels help us do our work.

During the upcoming Southington Apple Festival, on the first two weekends of October, the Southington Veterans Committee will be located in a tent directly in front of the town hall. Please stop by and see us. We will be welcoming the VA mobile unit during the second weekend of the festival, and it will be located on Center Street.

The VA mobile unit can assist in filing a claim or check on a pending claim.

I’ve heard it said that a smile is of no use unless it is given away. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. So, we’ll be sharing smiles, too.

We want to remind local veterans that we hold a monthly coffee house in partnership with the Southington Public Library. Our next coffee hour will be on Oct. 16, at 10 a.m., at the library at 255 Main St. The coffee house hour is open to all veterans, their family, and guests. Come join us.

Finally, to those veterans with PTSD or family members dealing with a loved one suffering PTSD, reach out for help. If you feel suicidal, call 911, get to the closest hospital or call the veterans crisis line at 1-800-273-8255.

John DeMello is a member of the Southington Veterans Committee. The committee can be reached at Town Hall, 75 Main St., by phone at (860) 276-6299, or by email at