VFW Newsletter January, 2010 - VFW Main Index

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VFW Newsletter January, 2010 - VFW Main Index ...

    Post 3272 Avon, Connecticut January 2010

    “On Target” LETTER #99 th (Our Newsletter’s 10 Anniversary Year)

     The Post met on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 at the Italian Club with 48 members in attendance. We had our Annual Christmas Party with the Santa Claus Band from Avon High

    School led by Music Director Dave Reposo who brought 9 high school band members who played a delightful variety of Christmas music for our enjoyment. This was followed by a delicious

    assortment of pizzas and desserts which were readily and totally consumed by our hungry and

    festive members and friends. It was indeed a great way to start the Christmas Season!

    Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 27 January 2010 at the Italian Club.

    Cocktails begin at 1800 hours with dinner at 1830 hours.

     Join our Post Family for another evening of good food, stimulating conversation and great

    friendship. Start the New Year right with a pleasant evening with your Post Buddies!

Since it was our Christmas Party, there was no meeting held and the evening was spent with

    music, dinner and good cheer. We had a record turnout of members and their friends for this

    occasion and this, coupled with the 10 members from the Avon High School Band, made for a

    special evening that helped usher in the Holiday Season for all of us!

    Towards the end of the festive evening, Commander Newman did administer the New Member Oath to Dan St. Denis as he will be leaving in early January to attend the University of Maine

    where he is seeking a degree in Forestry. We wish Dan the very best on his new quest and hope

    to hear from him periodically as his studies and activities permit.

    Comrades in Distress this month include Bob August, Mike Battaglino, Mike Busha, Bill Coffey, Mike Dlubac, Josephine Hinman, Dick Harris, John Higgins, Bill Huebner, Jim Katzung, Ben

    Pereslugoff, Harold Schaal and Ed Stepian. Those who are indicated in bold are new to the list this month. Please remember to keep them in your thoughts and prayers - and visit them if you are

    able. We ask also that you let our Post Chaplain Tom Chrosniak (675-9196) know should you learn of any other Post members who are ill or hospitalized. The Chaplain is also calling a number

    of our Post veterans who we haven‟t had any contact with for some time to determine how they

    are doing. He will provide with us a status report when he finished this effort.

Post Activities & Developments

    New Member Profiles

We are proud to introduce on this occasion two new members to the Post. The first is Peter

    Finken from Simsbury, a West Point Graduate, who served on active duty with the U. S. Army thfrom 1988 to 1993. After Basic Training at Ft. Belvoir, he was assigned to the 16 Engineer Battalion as a Platoon Leader and XO in Nuremburg, Germany. After 2 years in Germany, he was stsent to the Middle East and served as a 1 Lieutenant and Brigade Operations Officer during the thstGulf War with 16 Engineer Battalion, 1 Armored Division. He then spent 6 months with Joint

    Task Force Bravo in Honduras, was promoted to Captain and completed his military service in

    1993. His decorations include the Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia

    Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) and Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait).

Our second new member is Al Lapore - a transfer from the Canton Post where he served as

    Quartermaster. Al enlisted in the Connecticut National Guard at 17, took basic training at Camp

    Pickett, VA and served with the U. S. Army in Munich, Germany in 1951–‟53 as a Motor Pool thrdSergeant with Headquarters Company, 169 Regiment, 43 Division as part of the Occupation Forces. Please welcome both these new members to the Post at your earliest opportunity!

    John Ballantyne emailed the following to us in early December from Iraq “On behalf of B Company, and myself, I‟d like to thank you and the guys at the Post for sending the generous box

    of snacks and assorted food items. It was definitely a morale booster to me and my Company. It

    also gave me an opportunity to talk about the guys and plug the VFW. All is well in Iraq - we are

    starting to wind up on our mission and getting ready to come home. I look forward to getting over

    to the Post to thank you and all the guys personally in just a few short months.”

    On 11 December, Bill Newman and Art Ostheimer attended the District 3 Meeting at Post in Manchester. There were 12 Posts in attendance. Under the Good of the Order, we informed the

    members present of our two recent programs that the Post participated in regarding the Avon Old

    Farms Rehabilitation Hospital which operated from 1944 -47 for blinded veterans from WWII.

    There was considerable interest in these programs and we were surprised by the positive

    comments by several members regarding our Post and its reputation for community activities.

    Several members of the Post attended “Wreaths Across America” ceremony held at the Simsbury Cemetery on Plank Hill Road on 12 December at 12 Noon as similar tributes were being

    conducted at the same time at 380 cemeteries across America. American Legion Post 84 and

    VFW Post 1926 co-sponsored the event with the Abigail Phelps Chapter of the DAR. A good

    crowd was present on a bitterly cold and windy day to honor veterans across the country at this

    Holiday time. Representing Post 3272 were Art Ostheimer, Bill Newman and Lee Wilson.

The Post once again supported the Salvation Army this year by “ringing the bell” at Wal-Mart on thSaturday, December 12. The following members participated in this seasonal fundraiser to aid

    the less fortunate individuals in this community Lew Affelder, Marty Brighenti, Tim Curran, Dick

    Ecke, George England, Dick Hill, Nick Lavnikevich, Bill Newman and Art Ostheimer. Thanks to all

    who “stood their watch” and helped “fill the pot” for the Salvation Army.


    On 13 December, Commander Newman sent a letter to State Senator Kevin Witkos requesting that the Bridge over the Farmington River on Route 44 in Avon be named in honor of Corporal stGildo T. Consolini the 1 soldier from Avon killed in action (KIA) in World War II. He noted in the

    letter that this bridge would be an ideal place since it is in a prominent location at the west side of

    Talcott Mountain as one enters Avon on Route 44. Many of our veterans realize the fact that few

    citizens of Avon are aware of Corporal Consolini‟s service and sacrifice. Our Post, Newman advised, has been an active member of this community since 1945 and presently has 160

    veterans from all wars WWII to Iraq. The Commander assured Senator Witkos that our Post

    would deeply appreciate his assistance in this timely and fitting endeavor!

The Valley Press published a very informative article in its 17 December 2009 issue on our recent

    presentation of an engraved plaque in honor of Major Craig Nobert, USAF, Vietnam MIA to his brother Dr. Gary Nobert at the Town Council Meeting on 3 December. His brother in turn then

    presented this plaque to the town to be prominently displayed at the Avon Town Hall in honor of

    Major Nobert‟s service and sacrifice. The Post provided this plaque to help insure he would not be


    Doug Sutter informed me on 19 December that he will be leaving for deployment on 3 January 2010 and will be departing for the Middle East on 18 January. He further advised that he and his

    team will now be going to a base 100 miles south of Baghdad rather than Mosul. He noted that

    when he‟s settled in Iraq he will send us his mailing address. We look forward to providing him and

    his detachment team with monthly care packages from the Post during his deployment.

Past Post Commander Dick Petersen paid a surprise visit to our coffee klatch at Friendly on 24

    December. He spoke about his ongoing activities at home in Tega Cay, SC which now includes a

    coffee klatch he organized for veterans there akin to ours here in Avon. He is also involved as an

    interviewer for the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress. The “Old Commander” stays busy volunteering and keeping up with his herpetological interests so much so that the Tega Cay Mayor has recently designated him “Volunteer of the Month”. It was good to see him up in the North Country again but he said a treacherous drive up through a wicked snowstorm

    convinced them both (Joy & he) to stay south this time of year! It is also noteworthy that his

    daughter and son-in-law may a generous donation to our Relief Fund in honor of Dick Petersen

    during the Holiday Season!

We also received another generous donation from Deidre A. Corcoran to our Post in memory of

    Joe Rhoades and in honor of Jessie Rhoades. We informed their son William Rhoades of this gift and noted that we were pleased to accept it on behalf of the Post in recognition of these two

    extraordinary members who served this Post in so many capacities for so many years.

On 7 January we presented the 2009-2010 Voice of Democracy and Patriot Pen Youth Essay

    Awards to the six (6) winners at the Avon Middle School. The winners were Olivia Mayo and Taylor Walton from Avon High School; Abigail Inglis, Kyle Jackson and Cameron Nelson from the Middle School and Erin Gorham from Thompson Brook Elementary. Each winner received a

    Certificate from the Post and a $100 Savings Bond. Post Members who participated in this

    Awards Ceremony included Commander Newman, Senior Vice-Commander Roy Walton, Junior

    Vice-Commander Art Ostheimer and Bob Galiette. Carl Candels acted as our official

    photographer for this affair. We thank the Middle School Principal Marco Famiglietti for hosting this event, Thompson Brook Principal Anne Watson for attending as well as all the parents, families

    and friends who supported and were present at this Awards Ceremony.


    We sent a care package on behalf of the Post‟s Relief Fund to Army Sergeant John LaMontagne on 11 January 2010. We had received a request from him for packages by way of John Caruso and were happy to respond to him and his unit. John came to one of our Post meetings a couple

    years ago and spoke about his tour in Iraq at that time. He is now in Afghanistan with C Company/ st1of the 501 Parachute Infantry Regiment and we intend to send him monthly packages during his

    tour. John is a 2005 graduate of Avon High School who joined the U. S. Army a few days after

    graduation, took basic at Fort Benning, went to Airborne School, was stationed in Alaska at Ft. stRichardson and served in Iraq with B Company, 2 of the 501 PIR in 2006 -07.

In the January 2010 issue of the VFW Magazine under “Now Hear This”, it was noted that the

    Senate bill S. 2743 provides for a Cold War Service Medal. It was introduced 5 November 2009 by

    Senator Olympia Snow (R-Maine) and co-sponsored by Jim Webb (D-VA), Blanche Lincoln (D-AK)

    and Mary Landrieu (D-LA). This would be an important medal for many who served during the

    Cold War and, if approved, would likely lead the VFW to allow those who served overseas in

    Europe and other places to become members. This would add millions of new eligible veterans to

    posts across the country. For more information in this regard visit www.

Commander Bill Newman and Quartermaster Don Perreault attended the Department of

    Connecticut Voice of Democracy and Patriot Pen Annual Awards Dinner at Post 511 in New Britain on Sunday, 17 January 2010. There were over 250 veterans, ladies auxiliary and guests in

    attendance for this annual event. The Keynote Speaker was Past National Commander-in-Chief Robert E. Wallace, a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran who was awarded 3 Purple Hearts in the

    Battle for Hue during the Tet Offensive. Commander-in Chief Wallace emphasized the VFW‟s key role in the new G.I. Bill and Veterans Budget Appropriations Bill. The State VOD Winner was Rose Carver from Post 5849 in Niantic and the State Patriot Pen Winner was Jamie Lynne Kid from Post 5847 in Granby. We were delighted to have our Post nominee win State Teacher of the Year Award for K-5 Ms. Wendy Zacchera! Our Deepest Congratulations to Wendy she truly has earned this honor as she embodies everything this Post and the Veterans of Foreign Wars stand

    for! She will be our “Guest of Honor” at our 27 January meeting.

Each year at this time we award VFW Continuous Membership Pins to our members based upon

    their years of service as VFW members. The following members will be presented with lapel pins

    at our January meeting:


     Al Simonelli 65 yrs Leo Boswell 15 yrs Mark Ballantyne 5 yrs Ed Doyle Justin D’Allessandro Marty Brighenti 50 yrs William Jadovich Dwight Douglas Lou Capitani Alan Moutran Dave Hill

     Joe Nietupski Adam Lazinsk Paul Oslon 40 yrs Brian O’Donnell Joe Luzzi Everett Bennett Ernie Rettig Mike Nolan John Ritter Art Ostheimer Gordon Roch 35 yrs Aldo Vernesoni John Pappalardo

     Doug Sutter

    Fred Cialfi 25 yrs Lew Affelder 10 yrs Don Perreault Rudy Fromm Bill Samol Pete Salvatore 20 yrs George Caron


    William J. (Bill) Huebner

    Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army - WWII & Korea Veteran

    1925 2010

    It is heavy hearts that we inform you of the passing on 18 January 2010 of Bill Huebner at his home in Avon. He served on active duty with the U.S. Army in WWII from 7Sep43 to 16Feb46 and thalso in Korea from Jun‟50 to Dec‟51. Bill was an infantryman in the Pacific Theater with the 595

    Signal Aircraft “Warning” Battalion and participated in four (4) campaigns including the Bismark

    Archipelago, New Guinea, Northern Solomons and Luzon. He served overseas in the South

    Pacific from 14Jul44 to 8Feb46 and was discharged from the U. S. Army on 16Feb46 at Fort

    Devens, MA. Bill joined the Army Reserve shortly after his discharge and went to work as a

    newspaperman. After the invasion of South Korea on 25Jun50, he was recalled to active duty

    because he said he had the “Magic MOS Basic Rifleman” and was sent with other “WWII thRetreads” to Fort Campbell for weapons refamilization and training. Bill noted the 11 Airborne troops “just about killed us with the training” as “we were all overweight, smoked too much and

    drank too much”. He noted that some didn‟t make it and were assigned to what was known as the

    “nurses-aid battalion”. After the training, he was sent to San Francisco, shipped out for Sasebo, thrdJapan and landed in Pusan. He was assigned to the 15 Infantry Regiment of the 3 ID as an infantry sergeant and they fought their way out of the “Pusan Parameter” to Seoul. Due to his newspaper background and to his surprise, Bill was selected by the Division‟s 2-Star General to be the “Division Information NCO” to promote the Division and the General and get good coverage

    in the stateside newspapers. This Bill did well and was given, in his words, a “2-Star carte blanche” to entertain the media with “happy hours” and trips to the front. He told of getting “cocky”

    and visiting the front himself during which he almost “got his butt shot off” when the Chinese decided to engage in an all-out attack on that position and he and the unit were surrounded by

    Chinese troops for 3 tense days. After this choice assignment, he was transferred to the Division‟s

    G-2 and worked in psychological warfare until he had enough points to rotate back to the states in

    December „51 and returned to inactive reserve status. Bill joined the Hartford Times at the end of

    1952 and spent 25 years with the paper as a reporter and later as an editor.

Bill‟s military decorations include the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct

    Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign w/ 4 bronze stars, World War Victory

    Medal, Army Occupation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with 2

    bronze stars, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, United Nations Service

    Medal, ROK Korean War Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Although he joined the VFW in 1954 and was a member in Windsor Locks are many years, Bill

    transferred to our Post in 2002 and was an active member attending most of our meetings and

    coffees. He also served as the Post‟s Public Relations Officer for a number of years and prepared

    several articles on our activities and programs for the local media. Bill was a proud patriot, a good

    soldier, frank and direct with a great sense of humor he will be deeply missed by all who knew

    him. Funeral Arrangements were provided by Carmon Funeral Home in Avon with internment on

    Friday, 22 January 2010 at Evergreen Cemetery in Avon followed by a memorial service at the

    Avon Congregational Church. A reception was provided by the Huebner Family following the

    church service. We are most grateful to the Huebner Family for suggesting in lieu of flowers that

    memorial donations be made to Avon Post 3272. May Bill and all our departed Post Veterans rest

    in the Eternal Father‟s Peace!


We are pleased to report as of 31 December our Post reached 100.63% in membership and was

    tied with Post 5849 in Niantic for the top post in Division 5 in the Department of Connecticut

    Membership standings. To qualify once again for the All-State Designation and Honors we have to

    be one of the top two posts in membership within this division by the end of May. To accomplish

    this we need to recruit more new members at least ten (10) based on last year‟s experience!

Noteworthy Quotes

    COL Robert L. Howard, U. S. Army

    (1939 2009) Colonel Howard died in Waco, Texas on 23 December 2009 at the age of 70. He was considered to be the most

    highly-decorated American soldier since World War II. His residence was in Texas and he spent much of his

    free time working with veterans at the time of his death. He also took periodic trips to Iraq to visit active duty

    troops. He served five tours in Vietnam and is the only soldier in our nation's history to be nominated for the

    Congressional Medal of Honor three times for three separate actions within a thirteen month period. Colonel

    Bob Howard was a native of Alabama, with his home of record being San Antonio, Texas. He entered military

    service on July 20, 1956 and was medically retired on September 30, 1992. He received a direct appointment

    from Master Sergeant to First Lieutenant in December 1969. His thirty six years of military service included

    over 33 years on airborne status. Military assignments include duty with the 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions;

    2d Ranger Battalion; 3d, 5th, and 6th, Special Forces Group; 5th Infantry Division; 7th Corps, XVIII Airborne

    Corps. He served in the Eighth United States Army and Combined Forces Command. Service in Vietnam

    included serving with 1/327th Airborne Infantry, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, 5th Special Forces Group,

    and MACV SOG. Colonel Howard commanded a Reconnaissance Company, MACV SOG in Vietnam, a separate

    Ranger Company at Fort Benning, Georgia, two Ranger Companies while assigned to the 2d Ranger

    Battalion. He was the Post Commander of Kelly Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany, Executive Officer of the 2d

    Ranger Battalion, and the Mountain Ranger Camp. Military Instructor duties include Airborne, Ranger, and

    Pathfinder at the Infantry School, Tactics at the Command and General Staff College, Special Operations and

    Special Forces at the Special Warfare Center. Staff assignments have included duty with AC of S, G3, XVIII,

    Airborne Corps, C3, J3, G3, Combined Forces Command/Eighth United States Army, Korea. Military training

    includes the Basic and Advanced Infantry Courses at the Infantry School; Special Forces Enlisted and Officer

    Courses at the Special Warfare Center and School; Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth,

    and the National War College in Washington, D.C. Colonel Howard was a distinguished honor graduate of the

    Ranger Course, Pathfinder Course, and Parachute Rigger School. Received the Outstanding Infantryman's

    Trophy as Outstanding Infantry Officer of Class 1979-1980 at the Command and General Staff College. He

    graduated from the National War College, Class 1987-1988. His military service also contributed to exceptional

    civilian recognition for service to his nation. He received the Outstanding Youngman of America award 1970;

    nominated as one of ten Outstanding Youngmen in America in 1971 and 1972; inducted into Military Hall of

    Fame, Hoover Institute, Stanford University in 1980, inducted into Military Hall of Fame, Veterans of Foreign

    Wars, State of Alabama in 1973; Promoted to Colonel for Life, Alabama State Militia, State of Alabama, 1976.

    AWARDS AND DECORATIONS: Congressional Medal of Honor; Distinguished Service Cross; Silver Star; Bronze Star

    for Valor, 3d Oak Leaf Cluster; Purple Heart, 8th Award, 7th Oak Leaf Cluster; Defense Superior Service Medal;Legion

    of Merit, 3d Oak Leaf Cluster; Bronze Star for Meritorious Achievement; Air Medal for Valor, 2d Oak Leaf Cluster; Army

    Commendation Medal for Valor, 3d Oak Leaf Cluster; Air Medal w/ V device & numeral 3; Army Meritorious Service

    Medal, 2d Oak Leaf Cluster; Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Achievement, 2d Oak Leaf Cluster; Joint

    Service Commendation Medal; Joint Service Achievement Medal; Army Achievement Medal; Good Conduct Medal 4th

    Award; National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal, PNCO Ribbon W/2 device, Army Overseas

    Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Expeditionary Medal, 2d Oak Leaf Cluster; Vietnam Service Medal w/ 3 service stars;

    Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 device; Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star; Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry

    with Silver Star; Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star; Vietnam Honor Medal 2d Award; Vietnamese Wound

    Medal; Vietnamese Civil Action Medal 2d Award; Army Presidential Unit Citation, 1st Oak Leaf Cluster; Navy Valorous

    Unit Citation; Army Meritorious Unit Citation; Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, 1st Oak Leaf Cluster; Republic

    of Korea Samil Medal; Combat Infantryman's Badge; Aircraft Crewman's Badge; Master Parachute Badge; Pathfinder

    Badge; Air Assault Badge; Expert Infantryman's Badge; Vietnamese Ranger Badge; Army Ranger Tab; Special Forces


    Qualification Tab; Thai Master Parachute Wings; Vietnamese Master Parachute Badge; French Parachutist Badge;

     Korean Master Parachute Badge & Thai Balloonist Badge.” “Col Robert L. Howard Tribute Website”


    AVON, CT 06001

    VFW Membership Eligibility

Eligibility Criteria (3)

    1. Must be a U.S. Citizen.

    2. Must have An Honorable Discharge or be a Member of the Military.

    3. Must have Served Overseas During A Conflict for which they received

    One of the Following;

     -A Campaign Medal (i.e. WWII Europe/Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, etc),

     -An Occupation Medal (i.e. Germany, Austria, Italy, Japan, etc),

     -An Expeditionary Medal (i.e. Panama, Somalia, Cuba, Lebanon, etc),

     -Or Imminent-Danger/Hostile-Fire Pay. (from pay records)


3A. Served in Korea for 30 Consecutive Days or 60 Non-Consecutive Days

     Anytime Since 30 June 1949


3B. Received one of the following; the SSBN Deterrent Patrol Insignia,

     Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB), Combat Action Ribbon (CAR) or the

     Combat Action Badge (CAB).

    Verification of these criteria requires a copy of the Discharge Papers or the Separation Form (DD Form 214). There is always a possibility of an

    omission on the discharge papers or separation form and a veteran may

    request a correction of records by submitting GSA Form 180. Also if there is

    a serious question regarding a applicant’s eligibility, we can submit it to VFW National for their review and consideration. We do believe that

    veterans who served in Europe during the Cold War Period will soon be

    eligible especially so if a Cold War Medal, which has been proposed by

    several congressmen recently, is approved by congress.


     20Jan10 Bill Newman



    32 Old Farms Road

    Avon, CT 06001










    Wed., 28th POST PICNIC @ Ray Zacchera Compound JULY






    All Meetings Held At “The Italian Club” – 32 Old Farms Rd, Avon, CT

    (Cocktails at 6pm, Dinner at 6:30pm & Post Meeting at 7:30pm)


Aldo Vernesoni

Post Adjutant


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