2009 Honored Veterans

Robert Gabe DeLuca

U.S. Air Force

Gabe DeLuca left college to enter the military shortly after the onset of the Korean War. He enlisted in the U. S. Air Force and served with distinction at several duty stations, including a two-year stint at a remote base in the frozen tundra of Alaska. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Airman First Class.

Gabe returned to civilian life, entered the business world, raised his family, and commenced an outstanding career which has served to make him one of the shining lights in Stamford’s political galaxy. He was elected to the Board of Representatives in 1977 and has served continuously with the exception of a two-year hiatus in the mid-80s. Gabe is currently Minority Leader of the Board, leading his outnumbered but highly effective delegation, while achieving respect not only from his own party and constituents, but also from the opposition and from the administration.

Gabe DeLuca has stated on numerous occasions his pleasure and extraordinary feelings in serving his community and in having played a role in accomplishing things that benefit the city. The committee proudly selects him as an Honored Veteran.

Dr. Milton Hollander

U.S. Army

Milton Hollander enlisted in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers immediately upon graduating from high school. Being assigned to the Occupation Forces in Seoul, Korea, he participated in numerous construction projects. These would actually forecast his involvement in community construction project in his future years. At war’s end, he received his honorable discharge with the rank of Tech Sergeant.

Leon Jaiven

U.S. Army

Leon Jaiven entered the U.S. Army Medical Corps at he very start of WWII and served with distinction as a hospital administrator more than four year. Upon his release from active duty, he remained in the Reserve, attending monthly drills and annual summer mobilizations. He served a total of 25 years and was discharged with the rank of Major.

Dahlia Pobie Johnston

U.S. Army

In early 1942, at the onset of WWII, Pobie Johnston enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps. She served with distinction as an administrative specialist at posts in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas and is replete with interesting stories about her military experiences. At war’s end, she received her honorable discharge with the rank of Sergeant, and returned to Stamford to commence an outstanding career which led, among other things, to her selection as Citizen of the Year in 1978.

Where do you start when you attempt to describe all that Pobie Johnston has contributed to the quality of life enjoyed by the citizens of our town? Do you mention her time as executive director of the Citizens Action Council, followed by 17 years with the newly created SACIA, or spearheading the Urban Renewal Program, or working to ensure public support and monitoring the relocation of both residential and commercial tenants from the project area? Do you point to her time as executive aide to the Mayor, or to her service on no less than five Charter Revision Commissions, or to her more than 20 years on the Grievance and Arbitration Panels of the Stamford Bar Association?

Pobie Johnston is a true practitioner of community service, and it is with pride and humility that we select her as an Honored Veteran.

M. Dean Montgomery

U.S. Army

What has Dean Montgomery not done? A First Lieutenant in the Army Reserve, he was activated at the height of the Vietnam conflict. On his active duty tour he served in South Vietnam as an MACV officer, received a promotion to captain, and was awarded the Bronze Star and Joint Service Commendation medals. On his release from active duty, Dean remained in the Reserves, serving as commanding officer of the 126th T.C. Company in Milford for three years.

His diversified community service record is absolutely remarkable. He served four-year terms on both the Police Commission and the Fire Commission; he was president of Stamford Emergency Medical Services, president of the Fairfield County Bar Association, and commodore of the Dolphin Cove Yacht Club. Would you believe it – he is also a past president of the Stamford Rotary Club and of the Board of the Stamford Red Cross.

This amazing man, a Stamford native, was recognized early in life by the Stamford Jaycees as Young Man of the Year, and now we proudly name him as one of our Honored Veterans.

Jimmy Nestor

U.S. Army

If a question arises about Veterans Affairs in Stamford, if you need flags to put on the Veterans’ graves on Memorial Day, if you need a color guard for a patriotic affair – whatever the occasion, the first thing you do is pick up the phone and call Jimmy Nestor. This longtime, active member of the Springdale Post of the VFW is guaranteed to solve your problem.