2005 Honored Veterans

Pasquale Pat Battinelli

U.S. Marine Corps

The expression “Once a Marine – Always a Marine” would seem to have been coined with Pat Battinelli in mind. Whether it’s the scarlet & gold baseball cap with the assortment of USMC pins; whether it’s the USMC vanity plate on his van, or whether it’s the scarlet & gold USMC banner on the flagpole in front of his Glenbrook home; Pat leaves no doubt as to his military affiliation.

Pat enlisted in the Marine Corps soon after the start of the Korean War. After surviving boot camp at the infamous Parris Island Recruit Depot, he took Advanced Combat Training at Camp Pendleton in California and eventually was assigned to the Fleet Marine Force where he served in the Pacific theater for the remainder of his enlistment.

A lifelong local resident, Pat spent a dozen years as a Stamford firefighter. When he left the Department to go into his painting business, he joined the Glenbrook Volunteers, and eventually rose to the rank of Chief.

Pat is presently chairman of the Stamford Patriotic and Special Events Commission, a post which he has held for over 15 years. He is responsible for the planning and execution of the fine holiday parades held in Stamford, working diligently to recruit outstanding bands and marching units as well as organizing local participating groups. Additionally, he is Commandant of the local chapter of the Marine Corps League.

He is married to the former Gloria Fabrizio. They have four children and eleven grandchildren.

John Boccuzzi

U.S. Army

A legend in his own time, that’s John Boccuzzi.

First elected to the Board of Representatives in 1967, John is now celebrating his 38th year of representing his Waterside district on Stamford’s governing body. For the past 25 of those years he has also served as Majority Leader. Over the years, he also found time to serve as a PTA President at Ryle and Cloonan Schools and as an officer of the St. Clement Church Parish Council.

John’s record in the Military is every bit as impressive as that in Government and Community Service. As a Platoon Leader with a Tank Battalion as part of the 12th Armored Division, he saw action all over the West Pacific Theater, including New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Leyte, Luzon, Manila, and the Philippines, earning a Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars, numerous Campaign Ribbons, and the Philippine Liberation and WW II Victory Medals.

He was honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant.

John and Adeline Boccuzzi have been happily married for 58 years. They have four children, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren

Leslie Les Meyers

U.S. Army Air Corps

For over twenty years, Les Meyers has been the hard-working chairman of the Jewish War Veterans Committee that sponsors and organizes the annual “Stamford Citizen of the Year” program. Under his leadership, the achievements of many deserving citizens have been brought before the public and given their proper, deserved recognition.

A member of JWV Post 142 since 1957, Les served four terms as Post Commander and one term as State Commander; but his community service hasn’t been restricted to JWV alone. He was a member of Stamford’s Patriotic and Special Events Commission for six years, a Volunteer Probation Officer in Stamford Juvenile Court, and for over twenty years a Volunteer in the Senior Hot Lunch program at the Jewish Community Center.

During World War II, Les enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet. Tragically, his military career came to a premature end due to a debilitating injury suffered during pilot training, but even then, Les wasn’t through. While recuperating in the hospital, Les invented a traction method which was adopted by the medical staff at the hospital, enabling amputees to safely get out of bed.

Les and Sylvia Meyers have been married for 61 years and have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.

Carmine Carm Vaccaro

U.S. Navy

All-Star high school and college Athlete, U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman, award-winning Coach, respected Educator, community Volunteer and Activist – Carmine Vaccaro has been all these and more.

Born and raised in Stamford, Carm starred in many sports at Stamford H.S. and won the State Championship in the pole vault. At Adelphi College and the University of Maryland he continued his outstanding pole vaulting and also played football.

With the outbreak of the Korean War, Carmine left college to enlist in the Navy. As a trained Hospital Corpsman, he served with distinction, attaining the rank of Petty Officer 2d Class.

After his Honorable Discharge, he completed his undergraduate education at New Haven State Teachers College, earning a B.S. in Phys. Ed, with a minor in General Science, while competing in football, track and tennis. Carm also holds graduate degrees from Fairfield and Fordham. He taught Science and Phys Ed in the Stamford school system for over thirty years.

He has served the City of Stamford as a member of the Human Rights Commission and the Patriotic and Special Events Commission. He has also held officers’ positions in the American Legion, the VFW, the Knights of Columbus, and the North Stamford Exchange Club, being named “Man of the Year” in 1978 and receiving the National Volunteer Award in 1981.