legion pg 1 11-16-23

captions, page 4:

Veterans at the ceremony in Woodstock. Front page: Members of the BSA Troop 27 in Woodstock.

Legion CT Dept. Senior Vice Commander John DeBisschop in Woodstock. 1st Selectman Jay Swan stands behind him.

WWII vet Raymond Williams at the American Legion event in Putnam. Courtesy photo.

Putnam's American Legion Post Commander Michael Rocchetti with a tally of funds raised. Courtesy photo.

Right: The Woodstock Academy Hill Singers sang at the Woodstock American Legion's Veterans Day ceremony.

Legion raises
money and
honors vets
PUTNAM — Putnam’s Mayotte?Viens American Legion Post 13 raised $12,804 at its annual Veterans Day Guest Bartending and Veteran Recognition event Nov. 9.
The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Post 13 Commander Michael Rocchetti. The event opened with the singing of the national anthem by Army National Guard Specialist Emily Lajoie. Then guest bartenders worked the bar collecting tips for the American Legion. According to Rocchetti, “The Guest Bartenders really brought in a tremendous amount of donations for the Post. This is really important for us because it helps pay for our scholarships, American Legion Baseball, Boys State, the State Police Youth Academy, the youth oratorical contest, our Veterans?in?need fund, and our ongoing Americanism initiatives.”
Rocchetti also recognized the generosity of the many donors that made the event successful: “Dozens of gift baskets were donated by members and friends as raffle items. Local artist Jonathan Fitiz donated two original paintings which were auctioned off. Big Gary’s Discount Liquor Store donated a custom?etched bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon which was auctioned off. Also Foxwoods Resort Casino donated one of our auction items (an overnight stay for two people in a deluxe room at their luxury hotel.)”
Post 13’s Finance Officer Chas Mackenzie said: “Between the tips, donations, raffle ticket sales, and auctions, this event raised $12,804 for the Post – I am overwhelmed by the generosity of all of  the people who made this possible, especially Gates Auto Group, Dr. Steven Raheb, Putnam Lions Club, Roger Franklin, Putnam Area Foundation, Christopher and Kathleen Johnson, Diane and Richard Tremblay, Rawson Materials, Loomis Real Estate, WINY Radio, Fluid Coating Technology, Tenaya Desaulnier, and Rick and Dee Carnahan.”
The highlight of the night was when Post 13 honored their last remaining WWII veteran, 96-year old Raymond K. Williams. He was born in 1927 in New Britain and his family moved to Woodstock in 1941. During WWII, Ray was drafted into the military in 1945 and served in the US Army Air Force. He was trained as an aircraft radio operator, and was sent to Japan shortly after their surrender in August 1945. Ray was assigned to the 5th Air Force and his occupation duties were at an airbase in Nagoya, Japan. Williams was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1947 as a sergeant. His awards and decorations include the WWII Victory Medal, the Asian?Pacific Campaign Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Army of Occupation Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. He returned to northeastern Connecticut and worked for many years as a machine operator. He has been an American Legion member since 1948. His certificate of honor citation reads: “to Raymond K Williams In recognition and grateful appreciation for serving during WWII in the United States Army Air Forces, Fifth Air Force ? in the name of freedom and democracy, and for allegiance to God and country in courageously protecting our liberty and independence”.
Commander Rocchetti said: “It was great to see Ray at this event with his extended family. He doesn’t get out to often because of mobility issues – but he did really well and we were honored to have him as our guest”.
Rocchetti also lamented the dwindling ranks of WWII and Korean war veterans:
“Post 13 recently lost three WWII vets – Peter Trama, a U.S. Merchant Mariner; Carl Eisen, an Air Force bomber crewman; and George Olson, a U.S. Coast Guardsman. They truly were part of the Greatest Generation.
During the evening, Mayor Barney Seney and Dave Gilbert spoke briefly about the work being done by the Putnam Veteran’s Advisory Committee to finance repairs and upgrades to Putnam’s Veteran’s Park through the sales of commemorative paving bricks. Dave Gilbert also displayed some samples of the bricks and passed out information on this program.
The guest bartending teams included the Putnam Town Hall (Barney Seney, Travis  Sirrine, Brian Lynch, and Denise Geeza); the Putnam Business Association (Richard Loomis, Gary Osbrey, Earl Rosebrooks, and Jeff Rawson); the Putnam Rotaract (Tayler Shea, Matt Gardner, Hailey Messier); the Putnam Lions Club (Leia Faucher, Melody Cassio, Doria Daviau, Mikayla VanDam); the Day Kimball Health Care team (Crystal Lanning, Roger Franklin, Dan Durand, Brian Fulton, Bob Kovaleski); and the Gates Automotive Group (Mike and Joann Gallo, Chelsea Cormier, Nick Deojay).


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