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. americancoldwarvets.org
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:
2010 VFW MEMBERSHIP PIN AWARDS
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
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!
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”
GILDO T. CONSOLINI POST 3272
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
VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS OF THE UNITED STATES
GILDO T. CONSOLINI POST 3272
32 Old Farms Road
Avon, CT 06001
POST MEETING SCHEDULE
MONTH DAY/DATE REMARKS
Wed., 27th REGULAR MEETING JANUARY
thWed., 24 REGULAR MEETING FEBRUARY
thWed., 24 REGULAR MEETING MARCH
thWed., 28 REGULAR MEETING APRIL
thWed., 26 REGULAR MEETING MAY
rdWed., 23 REGULAR MEETING JUNE
Wed., 28th POST PICNIC @ Ray Zacchera Compound JULY
VACATION NO MEETING AUGUST
ndWed., 22 REGULAR MEETING SEPTEMBER
thWed., 27 REGULAR MEETING OCTOBER
thWed., 17 THANKSGIVING DINNER – SHORT MEETING NOVEMBER
Wed., 15th CHRISTMAS PARTY – NO MEETING DECEMBER
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)