from pg 1 6-27-24

From patriotism to awards

By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
PUTNAM — The pendulum swung from patriotism to awards at the Mayotte-Viens Post 13 American Legion induction of officers and awards dinner last week.
Commander Michael Rocchetti recounted the busy year the post had. “We had a big year, in addition to the patriotic observances,” he said. With pride, he noted the post’s annual golf tournament this past year raised $10,000 which went to the refurbishment project at the Veterans Park. “That’s a big thing and WE’RE NOT DONE YET.” The upcoming golf tournament will also bring donations for the Veterans Park.
This year, he said, the post awarded $6,000 in scholarships. “It’s the first time we’ve done that,” he said, “giving out four more than last year.” he said. Scholarships went to: from Putnam High School: Aysaiah Chavez, Lily Goyette, Brady Devlin, Robert Dion, Pedro Ortiz and Connor Vassar of QVCC.
Rocchetti said: “We doubled our contribution to the Tri-Town American Legion Baseball Team. We donated $10,000 to the Veterans Memorial Park Project – but there’s more to come. We’re sending two Putnam High School students to Boys State and Girls State – Justin Vukas and Whitney Pynn. And we recently recognized four PHS graduating seniors who will be going into the U.S. military: Colin Martin and Moses Ryder, USMC, and Travis Fredette and Lucas Carita U.S. Army National Guard.
Master of Ceremonies, past Post #13 Commander Brian Maynard expressed his gratitude to the members and the local community for their vital support – “which makes possible our many programs which benefit the local community.” “All of the proceeds from our upcoming golf tournament will be donated to the Town of Putnam for the completion of upgrades to the Veterans Park – so please support our golf tournament – which will be held on Monday September 16th at the Putnam National Golf Course.”
Rocchetti said: “On a low note, we transferred eight departed comrades from Post #13 to the Post Everlasting, including: Carl Eisen, Albert Cormier, Bernard Auger, Anthony Amodeo, Alan Sheldon, Robert Guillot, Raymond Williams and David Kelly. I can’t remember when we have lost so many comrades in one year – and we lost our last two remaining WWII veterans – Carl Eisen and Ray Williams.”
On the upside awards were numerous. The American Legion Bronze Service Medals were presented to Maynard, Charles MacKenzie, and Ed Morissette for their work on the successful 2023 golf tournament.
“We usually present an award to our Legionnaire of the Year, and this year it is awarded to our past Post Commander Michael Vassar – but Mike had another important commitment so he wasn’t able to attend tonight,” Rocchetti said “But rest assured, we will present it to him when he gets back. Mike is a very high-performing individual and his service to our Post and our community reflects great credit upon himself and the American Legion. We are real proud of him.”
The Post #13 officers for the 2024-2025 program year will include Post Commander Michael Rocchetti, Senior Vice Commander Christopher Steinbrick, Junior Vice Commander Tina Lajoie, Finance Officer Charles MacKenzie, Adjutant Michael Rocchetti, Chaplain Pierre Desilets, and Sergeant-at-Arms Frank Tremont. They were sworn in by officers and dignitaries from the American Legion’s NE CT District #4 including: Commander Frank Poirier, Adjutant Jeff DeClerk, and Historian Joe McIlraith.
Firefighter of the Year Award
Zach Belleville received the Mayotte-Viens Post 13American Legion Firefighter of the Year Award at the post’s induction and awards night June 20.
In his short time as a member of the Putnam Fire Department Zach Belleville “gives 110 percent,” according to Fire Chief Bob Campbell’s nomination letter to the legion.
He said Belleville, “is always helping when needed from washing hoses to training members in the department. He is at almost any function we ask of him.”
Campbell added: “Zachary started with the Putnam Fire Department on January 1 2022. Zach has helped our department in many ways in the short time he has been in the department. Zach is always right there to help in any way. He is FireFighter 1 certified which takes about 250 hours of training. He is Q Licensed to drive fire trucks and recently completed a Train the Trainer class on Blood Borne Pathogens. Zach was promoted to Lieutenant of Hose Company #2 on May 1 2023.”
Calling Belleville “the most respectful young man I know,” Campbell added: “He doesn’t need to be asked to get something done whether it’s at the station or on the trucks or at a fire scene. Zach is an excellent firefighter with a very bright future as a firefighter, which is his dream. I nominate Zachary Belleville because he is a dedicated and hard-working member of the Putnam Fire Department., and the chief officers couldn’t be more proud of the firefighter he has become.”
Police Officer of the Year Award
Putnam Police Officer Roy Hicks received the Mayotte-Viens Post 13 American Legion’s Officer of the Year award at the post’s induction and awards night June 20.
Police Chief Christopher D. Ferace said the three-year department veteran was nominated by two supervisors and a co-worker
Ferace, in his nomination of Hicks, said, “Officer Hicks brings a dedicated and compassionate work ethic with him every time he walks through the door at the Police Department. His enthusiasm for police work is infectious in the workplace and his desire to learn and improve every day is exemplified by his passion for this profession.”
That passion carries over into Hicks’ embrace of the department’s Community Policing Philosophy,” Ferace said. In fact, Hicks “excels at it. For example, it is not uncommon for him to purchase a meal for a homeless person or work extended hours in a criminal investigation to apprehend the responsible party.”
He added, “It is with great pleasure to announce Officer Roy Hicks as our Officer of the Year.”

captions, page 5:

Officers, from left: Commander Michael Rocchetti, Sr. Vice Commander Christopher Steinbrick, Jr. Vice Commander Tina Lajoie, Finance Officer Chas MacKenzie, Chaplain Pierre Desilets, Sgt. at Arms Frank Tremont. Not pictured: Service Officer Garry Brown.

Hicks with Rocchetti

Belleville with Rocchetti

Scholarship Winners: Aysaiah Chavez, right, Lily Goyette


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