MERIDEN, Conn. — The one living Connecticut veteran whose elite Army rangers company stormed the beaches of Normandy during World War II was among those honored Thursday during a very special Meriden Veterans Day service at The Village at Kensington Place, a senior living community that 22 veterans call home.
Most of the veterans who live in Kensington Place fought during WWII and are thankful for their opportunity to serve.
"I was short on education initially, but after putting time in the service I got a degree in history and government," said Conrad Sawicki, a Navy Veteran.
"I thought it (serving) was great because I had five other brothers in with me and I didn’t do it alone," said Fiore “Sam” D'Amato, the 97-year-old retired Army ranger.
D'Amato is one of only 19 living members of the rangers, who came ashore at Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
"I was with the second Ranger Battalion and the clerk being a company clerk I had about 40 guys who were on my tail," D'Amato said.
He and his five Brothers were all drafted and modest about their service.
"We all came back," D'Amato said. "We were happy about it. We did the job we were supposed to do and that was it."
Among the lawmakers acknowledging the accomplishments of these extraordinary patriots with proclamations was Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (D-Conn).
"Having the opportunity to be in a room with you and be in conversation with you and meet you personally is it something that I think we all need right now," said Hayes.
Mr. D'Amato, who turns 98 in February, has only lived at Kensington Place for about a month, but he could be here awhile.
"Well, he had a sister that passed away when she was 102, and his last brother that just passed away, he was 101," said Pat Young, Sam D’Amato‘s daughter.
Among the 22 residents, who are veterans, is one woman. Her name is Pamela Bogart Macfarlane, and she served in the Air National Guard just after Vietnam.
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