Two local men were honored as heroes Monday night when Mayor Ben Blake bestowed Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medals upon them during a short ceremony before the Board of Aldermen’s meeting.

Brothers George and Donald Worroll each received a medal for their service during WWII.

Alex Romanowicz, legislative aide for Sen. Gayle Slossberg, read comments from Slossberg.

“Because of you, we are able to enjoy freedoms,” he said.

Mayor Ben Blake read a letter from Sue Strelez, a former resident and Milford teacher, who said that Donald Worroll is like a stepfather to her.

In her letter, Strelez said Donald Worroll grew up on Wheelers Farms Road to a family that valued hard work, commitment and loyalty.

“As many men of his era did, he gladly served his country during World War II. in the early 1940s, Don and his brother George chose to enlist in the United State Navy.”

She shared a story that Donald has told over the years about two brothers passing in the night while aboard different vessels.

“Our favorite story was the time he and George were serving on different ships near Guam,” Strelez wrote. “When George’s ship was nearby, he signaled over to Don on the Antietam.”

The brothers hadn’t seen each other for nearly two years due to their war time duty. While trying to arrange transport, George’s ship was alerted to leave for a mission.

“Don was only able to view his brother by telescope,” Strelez wrote. “They did not meet again for another year. So close, yet so far. Almost like a script in a dramatic movie.”

More than 100 veterans who served in the armed forces during wars ranging from World War II to the Vietnam War and the post-9/11 conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq were presented the Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal in 2015 at an event hosted by Slossberg.

The Worroll brothers were not able to attend that ceremony, and so the local ceremony was arranged for this week.

Slossberg organized the 2015 event to recognize Connecticut’s veterans for their service in the armed forces.

“Our freedom is not free,” Slossberg said at that ceremony. “It has been earned through the sacrifice of our brave veterans, many of whom we honored today. These medals represent our gratitude to all those who heard the call and stood up for their country. It was an honor to make this small tribute to them today, but nothing we do can be enough to equal everything our veterans have done for us.”

Prior to 2005, the state of Connecticut had not honored its veterans with a wartime service medal since World War I. Slossberg changed that in 2005 by creating the Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal during her time as Senate Chair of the then-new Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Any person who served in the armed forces during a time of war and was a Connecticut resident at the time, or currently lives in Connecticut, is eligible for the award. Many veterans from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq received the medal as part of their discharge packets, but many veterans who served prior to 2005 are unaware of the medal’s existence, Slossberg said.

Any veteran who believes they may be eligible for the medal may contact Senator Slossberg’s office at 860-240-0482.
Honored in 2015
Following is a list of people from Milford who received the award in 2015. The list only includes people who RSVP'd to the ceremony, so anyone who walked in is not on the list. Also, while most of the people listed here were at the event, some were awarded the medal posthumously.

(Anyone who received the award and is not listed below can email editor@milfordmirror.com to be added to our list here. Also, if your name is mis-typed, please email us and we will correct it.)

Freddie Adorno, Lawrence Argraves, Charles Barnes, Charles Barnes, Herbert Baterson, Alvin Beck, Peter Bencivenga ,Jerry Bencivenga, Peter A. Bencivenga Jr., Peter Berube, Alan Bierwirth, John Boboc, John Boboc, Guido Bonvicini, Vincent Bovino, Charles Boyle, David Brandman, Jerome Brenna,n Herbert Brown, Raymond Burrows, Loren Burton, Francis Byrne, John Callan, Jose Canas, Tony Carlucci

Clarence Carter, Louis Cassella, Alain Champagne, Gordon Clark, Albert Clarkson, Richard Coda, Jean Connelly McBride, Marshall Converse, Mike Coplan, Kevin Curseaden, John D'Amico, Walter D'Avignon, Albert De Luca, Craig DeLeo, Frank Dowd, Joseph Dubee, Ernest Dubois, Walter Dudzinski, Robert Eldridge, Joseph Favazza, Joseph Felix, Joseph Fetcho, Russell Finlayson, Gene Finney, Waldo Finney, Edward Fitzgerald, Robert Flower, Robert Forster, Mary Francis Kearney, William Gambino, Dominick Gasparrini, Alfonso Gomez, Alfonso Gomez, Robert Greenwood, Joseph Gullo, Kevin Gunther ,James Hayward

Bruce Hendricks, William Henery Kearney Jr., Eliud Hernandez, John Hill, Henry Hiltz, Lee Hurst, Theodore J. Green II, Thomas Jakubisyn, Ronald Jasensky, Carl Johnson, David A Jorgensen, James Kader, Matthew Kaluzynski, Stanley Kaven, John Knapp, Mark Knipstein, Joseph Koziel, Stephen Kraffmiller, Kenneth Krause, Walter Kupson, Michael Kupson, Arthur Laufer, Clifford Lowman, Robert M. Lyons, Niles Mackenzie, Leo Mahoney, Paul Marsala, Robert Matison, John Mccarthy, Daniel McFarland, Tim Mead, Joseph Monachelli, Joseph Monachelli, Donald Moore, Gerald Newlan, Frederick Nigri, Andrew Ocetnik, Lawrence Orkins, Michael Paoletto, Richard Penn, Edmund Pineau, Richard Platt

Herbert Portnoy, Edward Regnier, Peter Remtsy, Jean Riviere, Francis Rogers, John Ronan, William Roots, Thomas Ryan, Alfred Salamanca, Anthony Salizillo, Blaze Sanzone, Charles Schultz, John Scrivines

Garry Sheppard, Richard Smethurst, Carlos Smith, Peter Smith, Brian Smith, James Sparks, Charles Sterling, James Tarczali, Terrence Tiernan, Robin Tummins, Dominik Turdo, Steve Varga, Robert Vitaletti, Robert Volgmuth, Robert Walsh

Douglas Warren Kearney, Bennie Warrington, Charles Wellner, Howard Williams, Michael Wynne, Thomas Zawislinski and Edward Zuscin