American pg 5 11-1-18

Category: Current Issue

PUTNAM — The Mayotte-Viens American Legion Post #13 of Putnam will remember local veterans on Veterans Day by recognizing three local veterans from different conflicts at its annual “Veterans Tribute and Celebrity Bartender Night” Nov. 11 at The Black Dog Bar and Grille.  The evening’s events begin at 4 p.m. with the special veterans’ tribute taking place at approximately 6.
The honorees this year are WWII and Korean war Merchant Marine and Army veteran Peter Trama of Putnam, Vietnam war Army vet Charlie Leach also a Putnam resident and Dr. Michael Therrien, a cardiologist and Air Force veteran who served in the Middle East in the Iraq War.  The ceremony honoring the trio is the centerpiece of the evening.
According to Post #13 Commander Alan Joslin, the evening begins at 4 p.m. when three presidents of the Putnam Business Association, Matt Desaulnier, Jeff Rawson and Earl Rosebrooks join with local radio celebrity Gary “O” of WINY for the first hour behind the bar.
The group will be followed Craig Gates, owner of The Black Dog; Putnam Bank President Tom Borner; Denny Gates; Chelsea Cormier and Nick Deojay.  Greeting friends behind the bar at 5:30 p.m. is the group that includes local music and stage stars Linda Colangelo and Laura Crosetti who’ll be joined by former Red Sox catcher Roger LaFrancois and QVCC President Carlee Drummer.
The Shaw contingent of Jim, Kevin and Kevin’s daughter Sarah Bentley and Chuck Bentley will jump behind the bar from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. The final hour of the evening will see the husband/wife team of Mary Jane and Jack Burke of Killingly, and Jason St. Onge of G-Seven Caterers serving libations with former Post Commander and current Putnam Mayor Norman “Barney” Seney.  Veteran advocates Fred Ruhlemann and Annie Hill will also be working.
“This promises to be a spectacular evening filled with spirit and emotion.  It’s an honor to recognize our veterans every year.  It’s recognition that’s long overdue,” said Post #13 Commander Joslin.
The evening will also include the singing of the National Anthem by U.S. Air Force veteran Maurice “Moe” Coderre.  Linda Colangelo will offer a special rendition of God Bless the USA and a tribute to the five branches of the service by.
Trama was a member of the Merchant Marines during WWII from 1943 to 1951, ferrying fuel and supplies to the troops in the European and Pacific Theaters.  He was later drafted into the Army, where he served two years, during the Korean Conflict.  Leach, who was discharged from the Army as a Warrant Officer in 1986, spent 12 months in Vietnam at Long Binh and Tay Ninh as a signalman with the 25th Infantry Division.  Dr. Michael Therrien enlisted in the Air Force at the age of 53 in 2008 when the military experienced a shortage of physicians.  Following intensive stateside training he was deployed to Air Force Theater Hospital at Joint Base Balad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he treated critical care patients.
There is no admission and the program is open to the public.  The proceeds from the evening, which include tips for the bartenders, a super drawing and auction, benefit the Post #13 charity efforts and programs.  The Post provides Americanism programs in the Putnam Elementary School, an oratorical contest in the high school, sponsors young men to Boys’ State, supports the TriTown American Legion Baseball Program, provides a scholarship to a high school senior and a veteran at Quinebaug Valley Community College and offers assistance during the holidays to a veteran’s family.  The “Hometown Hero” banner project and the flags on the WWI Veterans Memorial Bridge are also part of the Post’s funding programs.
“Our Post is an integral part of the Putnam community.  We accept our responsibility of being a good citizen and helping others,” said Joslin.
Since the event is being held on the actual date of Veterans Day, The Black Dog Restaurant is offering 25 percent off meals to active duty and veterans who present the appropriate identification.
The organizing committee is spearheaded by Immediate Past Commander Ronald P. Coderre and includes Commander Joslin and his wife Jo-Anne, Dee Carnahan, Brian Maynard, Michael Vassar, Victor Kratz, Donald Steinbrick and Eric Quinn.