2011 Honored Veterans

Jack Halpert

U.S. Army

Born and raised in Brooklyn, “Smilin’ Jack” learned to drive in New York traffic, which stood him in good stead during his Korean conflict military service as an Ambulance Driver with the 103rd Ambulance Co. of the 28th Army Division. He was the recipient of the “National Defense Service” ribbon.

After his discharge, Jack traded his Corporal’s stripes for a three-piece suit, and proceeded to make his mark in the corporate world, holding several commendable positions, including Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing for Polaner Foods.

Relocating to Stamford in the early 1990’s he literally submerged himself in Community Service. He has been on the Board of Directors of the Food Bank, the Stamford Senior Center, and the North Stamford Association, to name just a few. He served on SWRPA, and is currently Sr. Vice Commander of Fred Robbins Post 142 JWV, and Candidates Committee Chair of the Stamford Republican Town Committee.

The Selection Committee proudly salutes Jack Halpert as one of its Honored Vets.

Jane Jackson

U.S. Navy

A member of what Tom Brokaw would come to call “The Greatest Generation”; Jane Jackson is emblematic of the role so many American women played during WW II. Still in her teens, and barely two years out of high school when war broke out, Jane left her job at Fidelity Bank to enlist in the U. S. Navy. She served in Washington, D.C., as a De-Coding Clerk, assigned to the USN Intelligence Command, a unit that was awarded the Naval Unit Commendation. At war’s end, she was honorably discharged with the rank of Petty Officer First Class.

Jane returned to Stamford, not only to resume her career in banking, but also to marry, raise five children, and establish herself as a superstar in the field of community service. Her activities are almost too numerous to elaborate upon, but mention must be made of her outstanding work as a longtime fundraiser and volunteer organizer for the United Way and the former St. Joseph’s Hospital. She still spends many hours at Hospice, visiting patients and assisting the nursing staff.

With pride and humility, the Committee selects Jane Jackson as one of its Honored Veterans.

Franklin Melzer

U.S. Navy

Attorney Franklin Melzer joined the US Navy after college, prior to starting his distinguished legal career. After completing Officers Candidate Schoolin Newport and being commissioned as an Ensign, he took advanced training in Pensacola, FL and was eventually assigned to the Submarine Forces in New London. Frank served with distinction in the Korean Conflict on the USS Skylark, a submarine rescue ship that was part of Submarine Squadron 10, which included the first nuclear subs – the Nautilus, the Seawolf, and the Skate. He left the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant.

Frank’s accomplishments in Stamfordare both numerous and commendable. He has served the City as a member of the Board of Representatives, the Fire Commission, and the Charter Revision Commission. He has been on the Board of Directors of the YMCA, and has done extensive volunteer work for Pacific House and the MS Dinner of Champions, to name just a few.

With pride, the Selection Committee recommends Franklin Melzer as an Honored Veteran.

Ben Reed

U.S. Marine Corps

What more can you say about Ben Reed’s military service? He was a decorated Marine Corps officer who served in not one but two wars. His first was as a Machine Gun Platoon Leader and later Military Police Officer on Guam and Maui during WW II. Then, he was recalled to active duty at the outbreak of the Korean conflict, as a Logistical Command Officer with direct responsibility to the Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division in Korea.

After his discharge with the rank of Captain, Ben launched a distinguished career as an Educator and Administrator both in New York State and Connecticut, including 16 years with the Stamford school system as an Assistant Superintendent for Support Service. Becoming active in Veterans’ Affairs, he joined the Marine Corps League and the American Legion, participating in numerous fund-raising activities, including “Toys for Tots” and “Adopt a Platoon”. “Semper Fi”, Captain Reed.

The Committee proudly selects you as one of its Honored Vets!

Andy Sentementes

U.S. Army

At this time, when so much attention is focused on immigration policy, the story of Andy Sentementes serves as a model for the contributions that immigrants make to the United States.

Andy emigrated to the U.S. as a young man and attained his citizenship through the proper legal channels. When his adopted land went to war in the Korean conflict and called upon him, he repaid it by joining its Army, and serving overseas in the 28th Armored Division. Upon his Honorable Discharge, having been awarded the “National Defense Service” ribbon, the country rewarded him with something called the “G.I. Bill” which paid for his schooling in Electronics. When his training ended, Andy completed the cycle by becoming a taxpaying member of American industry, spending over 30 years as a Senior Electronic Technician with three different companies. Finally, since his retirement, he has been active in Community Service, including nine years on the Board of Directors of the Stamford SeniorCenter. As a long-time member of the American Legion and the VFW, he has taken part in many Veterans Assistance programs and is a regular participant in the annual holiday parades in Stamford.

The young man who came to our shores half a century ago, hoping to build a better life has succeeded, and is now definitely a Veteran to be honored.