Thanking Our Veterans

Council 4 members and staff prepared and served food throughout the afternoon.

The 2012 Memorial Day holiday weekend provided Council 4 members with an opportunity to thank state military veterans at our union’s annual CT Veterans Picnic. This year marked the ninth anniversary of the picnic, which takes place on the grounds of the State Veterans Home in Rocky Hill and is eagerly anticipated by veterans residing at the facility.

“I’m having a blast,” said Vietnam veteran Jim Vannest. “This is an enjoyable day. It’s nice to know someone cares about us, even with these tight financial times.”

AFSCME Local 2018 member Bill Kates, a Milford school custodian and Vietnam veteran, attended the picnic for the first time and came away impressed.

“What a great way to honor veterans for their service. I’m glad my union is doing this,” he said.

Since adopting the state veterans home nine years ago, Council 4 has raised funds to support substantial improvements to the State Veterans Home and other related veteran causes.

“This picnic is a way to thank our war veterans,” said Steve Curran, a state correctional officer who chairs the Council 4 Veterans Committee. “They have given their all for us. We need to give our all for them.”

Thanks to the members of the Council 4 Veterans Committee who helped make this event possible, including Curran (Local 1565), Jay Bartolomei (Local 714), Gil Bironi (Local 184), Dwight Frederick (Local 714), Thursa Isaac (Local 562), Joe Manes (Council 4 Retirees), Brian Mitchell (Local 1303), Anna Montalvo (Local 1522), Tom Stough (Local 991) and Megan Batchelder (Council 4).

L-R: Veteran Jimmy Vannest, Carol Whelan, APRN and Veteran Jack Johnson

Thanks also to the many Council 4 members, retirees and staff who volunteered on this special day. We'll see you next year for our 10th anniversary celebration.