NORWICH — U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney paid a visit to the RSVP Veterans Coffeehouse Wednesday morning to present three military veterans with medals for their service.
The weekly coffeehouse, put on by the nonprofit Thames Valley Council for Community Action, aims to provide all veterans and their spouses an opportunity to socialize and learn about services and benefits available to veterans.
Steven M. Arsenault of Norwich, who served in the U.S. Army from 1974 through 1977, and William H. Daniels of Franklin, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1954 through 1957, stood to accept their medals and shake Courtney’s hand. William F. Bellows, who served in the Army from 1943 through 1946, was presented with his eight medals posthumously. Bellows’ daughter, Sharon Brochu of North Grosvenordale, accepted the medals on her father’s behalf. Bellows, who served in the South Pacific and attained the rank of sergeant, passed away nearly 43 years ago, in March 1975.
Courtney, who represents Connecticut’s 2nd Congressional District, said he presents medals to veterans and their families often.
“Medal recovery casework is something we enthusiastically embrace because it is so important to families, and also to the veterans themselves,” he said before the presentation.
Arsenault, who rose to the rank of SP4 — the equivalent of a corporal — said receiving the medals, which were presented in a glass display case, was a meaningful experience.
“It was a long time coming,” he said. “It was important to me, for my children and my grandchildren.”
Arsenault, now 63, has two children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild who live in Missouri, he said. He plans on giving his three medals — the Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Occupation Medal with Berlin Airlift Device and National Defense Service Medal — to his children.
Daniels, now 81, thanked Courtney and Veterans Service Representative Manny F. Meneses for their help in getting the medals. Daniels, who rose to the rank of Boiler Technician 3rd Class Petty Officer, said he was pleased to be presented with his four medals: Navy Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuba) and Honorable Discharge Button.
“It feels good,” he said. “It’s about time.”
http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/20180221/veterans-receive-medals-at-norwich-ceremonyFebruary 21st, 2018