Posted on August 10, 2018 by admin
BRISTOL – Plainville State Representative William A. Petit, Jr., State Senator Henri Martin and Bristol State Representatives Whit Betts, Cara Pavalock-D’Amato and Chris Ziogas co-hosted a Wartime Service Medal Ceremony last week with the Veterans Strong Community Center, where more than 250 Bristol and Plainville veterans were presented with medals in honor of their service to our country.
Held last week at Bristol Eastern High School, the Wartime Service Medal Ceremony drew a crowd of over 400 family and friends in attendance to support the veterans. The ceremony was made possible with the help of local volunteers; the American Legion Post II Presented the Colors, The Bristol Girl Scouts, Bristol/Plainville Boy Scouts, Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould, and Bristol Fire Chief Jay Kolakoski led the Pledge of Allegiance, Miss Forestville Jillian Duffy sang the National Anthem, Deacon Robert Berube led the Invocation, and Stanley Piotrowski led the closing prayer.
The legislators thanked the veterans for their service, bravery and sacrifice, and participated in the reading of the medal recipients, as well as the medal pinning.
“These veterans, along with all of the men and women who have served and continue to serve in our Armed Forces, willingly take the oath to defend our freedom and our country. They sacrifice so much, including time away from their families, time spent in war, and some even give the ultimate sacrifice. We must always remember that no matter the circumstances, our veterans have selflessly answered the call to serve. It is incumbent upon us to always show our appreciation, remembrance, and gratitude, and I’m honored to be a part of that celebration today,” said Rep. Petit.
“The courage our veterans demonstrated in defending our country and values is a rarity in our society. Only 7.3 percent of living Americans have served in our Armed Forces and today’s military, an all-volunteer workforce, is comprised of just 0.4 percent of our population,” Sen. Martin said. “These men and women answered a call to serve something greater than themselves. The sacrificed so much, leaving behind friends and family, and they knowingly put themselves in harm’s way. They go anywhere in the world that they are needed, so that we can have the rights and freedoms enjoyed by generations of Americans. The Connecticut Wartime Service Medal is just a small token from a grateful state and its citizenry. Every veteran in our state, both living and those who are no longer with us, deserve to be recognized and thanked for their service.”
“Connecticut’s citizens owe a great deal of gratitude to the men and women who served and continue to serve in our armed forces and ensure the safety and freedom of our great nation. I am honored to recognize our veterans and their families, and through the presentation of the Connecticut Wartime Service Medal, thank them for their service,” said Rep. Betts.
“I’m incredibly proud to have been part of this wonderful event to honor our local veterans who served their country and continue to give to their greater community. I’d also like to thank the Veterans Strong Community Center of Bristol for their extraordinary efforts in support of our veterans and their families. Thank you for all that you did to ensure that our veterans received this service recognition, of which they are more than deserving,” said Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato.
In his remarks, Department of Veterans’ Affairs Commissioner Thomas Saadi emphasized the importance of recognizing veterans for their service, especially those who served in Vietnam. “What we must remember is that it is not the Veteran who starts a war, it is not the Veteran who decides National policy in conducting a war… but it is the Veterans who served, who fought, who suffered and sacrificed in war no matter their personal political feelings because they answered to a higher calling – that of duty, honor and country. To the Vietnam Veterans here today please stand – so we may thank you for not losing faith in the American people who now thank you and welcome you home,” said Commissioner Saadi.
The Connecticut Veterans Wartime Services Medal was established in 2005 by then Governor M. Jodi Rell and the General Assembly to honor all Connecticut veterans with qualified wartime service. It includes the distinctive red, white, and blue colors along with the official seal of each branch of the US Armed Forces and the words “For Service.” Prior to this, the state had not issued such a medal since World War I. In subsequent years, the state has authorized service awards to be made posthumously on or after November 12, 1918.
For more information on the Connecticut Wartime Service Medal, including qualifications, visit portal.ct.gov/dva.