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Hartford Courant: Veterans Recognized In Enfield With Ambassador For Peace Medal

November 27, 2015
In The News

ENFIELD — Seven veterans were recognized for their service in the Korean War during a ceremony at the Enfield Senior Center Wednesday morning.

Veterans were awarded the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal, a medal of gratitude from Korea for American servicemen's time spent overseas.

Wednesday marked the third ceremony in Enfield, awarding medals to the following: Robert Butler of Ellington, Anthony Secondo of Enfield, Herman Broer of Somers, Carl Usher of Enfield, Tadeusz Slupecki of Enfield, Carlo Iacolino of Enfield and Richard Provencher of Enfield. Family members of Slupecki, Iacolino and Provencher received medals and certificates in their honor.

Ernie Maynard of Enfield was the first veteran to receive the Ambassador for Peace Medal in Enfield. He learned of the new medal in a veterans magazine and asked congressman Joe Courtney's office to learn how veterans could apply and receive the medals.

The Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal is awarded to veterans who served in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. Eligible veterans must have served in country during the Korean War from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953, or have participated in the United Nations peacekeeping operations until the end of 1955. U.S. Navy members also are eligible, according to Courtney, if they served in a naval vessel that was assigned to Korean waters from 1950 to 1953. The medal may also be awarded posthumously.

Three Enfield residents — Lucien Lefevre, Anthony Secondo and Ernie Maynard — are dedicated to making sure Korean War veterans receive their medals. They have worked closely, going through paperwork and mailing letters to veterans, hoping to educate them on the new medal available.

Courtney called it a "grass-roots organizing campaign."

"I want to thank every serviceman I possibly can, I never know who I'm thanking and what they've done to keep me safe," Maynard said after the ceremony.

Lefevre said his goal is to make sure all veterans and families "get the recognition they all deserve."

For the next few weeks, Lefevre, Secondo and Maynard will send out hundreds of letters to Enfield veterans and those living in surrounding towns.

Secondo, who received an award Wednesday, said he was thrilled to receive the award. He was a U.S. Army infantry sergeant, and part of a group of soldiers who guarded a prison in Korea.

"We were close enough in that we heard live ammo," Secondo said. "When you were on guard duty, you really kept a look out."