Story and photo by Maren Schober
of Gail Gagnier-Malloy, President of the VFW auxiliary and a 40 – year
member. When I walked inside and glanced around I had to catch my
breath. The lounge room was aglow with twinkling lights, greens with red
bows, ‘snow’ overlayed on counter tops and two tall angles at the center
seaming said, ‘Welcome’!
“Who made this beautiful display?” I inquire. “This took a lot of work.”
Gail replies, “I made it, Yes, it took a long time.”
Gail, Commander Arthur Gagnier, veterans and members of the ladies
auxiliary are on hand to pay special honor to Thomas Moysey of
East Lyme for his show of patriotism to his country.
Gail shares, “Tom is a big donator to the VFW, Whatever we need he
often donates. ‘Just tell me what you need,’ he says to me. He is so generous
and a faithful member here.”
Diane Sullivan, Chaplain of the auxiliary, makes the presentation of
the Certiﬁ cate of Citizenship to Tom Moysey. Tom is surprised and
Tom tells me, “I was in the Navy for 10 years, I was in Granada and
Kuwait. I was also in the Gulf War in 1991. The Army Reserve took me
right in when they found out I could drive a tractor trailer! They told me
they needed people who could drive the tractor trailers. I hauled petroleum
that was used as fuel for helicopters.” Other veterans on hand share some
war experiences with me.
Jan Pierre Pecora of Chinatown, Manhattan relates
a surprising story. “I was in the Vietnam War 1967-1968. It was a
very hot dry day in Vietnam and I was sitting down writing a letter. I looked
up and saw a familiar man walking towards me. It was my older brother,
Arthur who was a First Lieutenant. I had no idea he was in Vietnam!”
“I’ve come to get you out,” he told me.
“Two brothers do not have to serve in the military at the same time,”
Jan continues. “I decided to stay. Unfortunately, my brother did not
make it out and he died during the war.”
I chat with Richard M. Watrous, Sr. of East Lyme. “The only good
thing I can think of about the Vietnam War is that I got out in one piece!”
Richard states. “I also learned the Vietnamese language before I
was sent overseas. I had extensive language training for three months
in California. In Vietnam I used my knowledge of the language to interrogate
prisoners and read Vietnamese materials.”
William Barnard a WWII veteran of Niantic relates, “I was
drafted into the Army July 18, 1945. I am now writing my memoirs about
The VFW Auxilary has 65 members. Tonight I meet Gail Malloy,
President, Carol Perkins-Wilson, Sr. VP, Diane Sullivan, Chaplain,
and Loreen Wilson-Lockwood, Trustee. Auxiliary members work
hard raising funds for various projects to help veterans and their families.
The Veteran’s Brick Program was a special project. A brick Path of Honor
was put in place at the Memorial Green in Waterford. The bricks
were engraved with the Veteran’s name, rank, branch of service and
New members of the VFW and auxilary are welcome. If interested
please E mail Carol Wilson at email@example.com.