vets pg 1 11-16-23

Serving is in
their nature
By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
WOODSTOCK — “When you look into your community, you’ll find veterans. They have an internal need to give back,” said John DeBisschop, the CT Dept. senior vice commander of the American Legion.
DeBisschop, who gave his remarks at the Benson-Flugel Post 111 of the American Legion’s annual Veterans Day observance Nov. 11, said veterans share the bond of service. “They wanted to serve and they want to give back,” he said.
DeBisschop said the four years of his service “set the stage for the rest of my life.”
Originally he wanted to go to school to be a firefighter. His friend happened to be going to see a recruiter and wanted company. DeBisschop said the friend “went home and I signed up.” He served as a fireman on two ships and became one later in life.
“Service goes beyond the military,” he said.
Saying “not all veterans have it so easy” he called on veterans and residents alike to become part of the Be the One campaign. If a veteran is depressed, they need to reach out for help. “And if you’re not a veteran, you need to reach out to veterans who may need help.
First Selectman Jay Swan said duty, honor and country are the words that veterans live by, for life. “We are forever in their debt.”
Glenn Boies, post commander, said the post has honored all who have served for “more years than I can remember.” The ceremony, held annually on the Woodstock Common, included musical selections by The Woodstock Academy Hill Singers and the invocation and benediction by Rev. Dr. Kevin L. Downer, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Woodstock. Two of the student singers handled the laying of the wreath at the Veterans Monument on the common.
The Veterans Day observance honored members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard.


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