November 2017

He Served His Country, Now He Serves His Community

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Viet Nam veteran Jim Hunter, former commander of Suffield’s VFW Post 9544, is pictured at the lodge with a folded, framed U. S. flag donated by Jeremiah Pendleton, a C-130 loadmaster and Brian Sheldon, a flight engineer, both recently returned from the Middle East war. The flag had been carried in C-130’s during many combat missions over Iraq and Syria.

Photo by Lester Smith

Viet Nam veteran Jim Hunter, former commander of Suffield’s VFW Post 9544, is pictured at the lodge with a folded, framed U. S. flag donated by Jeremiah Pendleton, a C-130 loadmaster and Brian Sheldon, a flight engineer, both recently returned from the Middle East war. The flag had been carried in C-130’s during many combat missions over Iraq and Syria.

Veterans’ Day holds a special place in Suffield’s heart. Townspeople have traditionally honored the day with respectful attendance, listening carefully to the prayers of chaplains and words of speakers.

Coordinating veterans’ observances in recent years, Jim Hunter has worked with town and military officials to plan local ceremonies for Veterans Day and Memorial Day. In this year of 2017, Veterans Day will be observed on Saturday, November 11 at 11 a.m.

Many townspeople remember observing the eleventh day of the eleventh month at 11 a.m. as Armistice Day. On that date ninety-nine years ago, American allies and Germany signed the 1918 document ending WWI, called the Great War. In the 1950s, the name of the observance was changed to Veterans Day to honor all who had served in the military.

A veteran of Vietnam, Jim Hunter served in the United States Army, 1st Cavalry Division, 15th Brigade, 1968 -’69. In civilian life as a project engineer at Milton Bradley, Jim was also an active member of Suffield’s Landry-Sic VFW Post No. 9544.

He served as Post Quartermaster for many years before being elected Commander in 1995. He served in that post for four terms then became Junior Vice- commander of the Third District of Connecticut comprising 30 VFW Posts in the state. Next year Jim will become District Commander.

He salutes the Suffield Post’s present Quartermaster, Marina Pendleton who recently returned from Afghanistan. She served as quartermaster with the 103rd Air Squadron of the Air National Guard. Marina and her husband Jeremiah, also with the 103rd, returned as newlyweds. Post Senior Vice-commander John Malin, Jr., and Junior Vice commander Gene Skowron welcomed the group with Post Commander Paul Rhodes.

Jim Hunter has devoted himself for many years to veterans of Suffield and of the State of Connecticut. For thirty years, he has organized the placing of flags and flowers on all veterans’ graves in Suffield and West Suffield for Memorial Day.


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