2013 Honored Veterans

Richard M. Cassone

U.S. Marine Corps

Ricky was born in Stamford where he attended Westover, Rippowam Magnet Middle School and Westhill High School. After spending a year at the University of Connecticut, he decided to expand his education by enlisting with the U.S. Marine Corps in 2005.

Ricky graduated from boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina, earning the Corps’ highest “Expert” ranking in marksmanship.

After combat training in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Ricky was stationed in Camp Pendleton, California. From there, he first deployed in 2006 to the war in Iraq with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, before becoming a member of First ANGLICO (Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company) where he learned to coordinate combat operations between the coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. After one other tour in Iraq during the 2007 surge in the Anbar Province, Ricky extended his four-year commitment to be deployed in Afghanistan, where he was ahead of and helped shape the 2010 troop surge in and around Marjah in the Helmand Province. There Ricky and one other Marine, his radioman, were helicopter dropped with British and Afghan troops in forward operating areas where they engaged the Taliban every day in firefights and by directing air and artillery support.

Upon his return to the States, Ricky was cited for his actions in combat. He left active duty in the fall of 2010 and resumed his education at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, where he has excelled in academics, varsity football and in extracurricular cross-fit competitions.

Ursa Coleman

U.S. Army

Born and raised in Kentucky, Ursa attended the University of Louisville, working her way through college first as a sales person at Montgomery Ward and then as a rate- and-route operator for AT&T. After receiving her bachelor’s in chemistry, Ursa replaced a draftee at a factory making paint resins for Navy ships. She joined the Women’s Army Corps in 1944 and served at Dugway Proving Ground in Tooelle, Utah, a remote testing facility working on developing and testing toxic agents and gases. She mustered out as a T-4 Technical Sergeant at Fort Dix, New Jersey, went on to attend graduate school at Columbia and in 1946 married Walter Coleman.

The Colemans moved to Stamford in 1955, where they raised their four children. Committed to education, Ursa has been active in the Stamford school system and was a driver in developing the first Guide to Stamford Schools; ran a before-school program at Northeast for children to learn Spanish, German and French; learned Braille to translate books for blind children; was president of the Citizens School League; was elected to the Board of Edu- cation and involved in the building of Toquam, Davenport and Westhill High as well as helping to institute a court- mandated integration plan. Ursa also has been active in the American Association of University Women, Meals on Wheels, the Girl Scouts and the Senior Center.

As a small business owner, Ursa opened Needlework Corner in 1972 with 200 square feet, and when she retired in 1985, had grown the business to a 2,000-square-foot operation. She now keeps busy making hats, scarves and sweaters for her 15 grand and great grandchildren as well as crocheting market bags that she donates to churches, Good Will and the Salvation Army.

Archie Elam

U.S. Army

Archie, upon his graduation from the Military Academy at West Point, was commis- sioned as an officer in Armor and Cavalry. His tactical and command assignments took him to the Armor School, U.S. Army Europe in the Cold War, the Office of the Secretary of the Army and Department of the Army Headquarters in the Pentagon, and the 18th Airborne Corps in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Archie completed his graduate work in operations research and systems analysis at the U.S. Army Logistics Management College and earned his MBA from Duke University in North Carolina.

Arriving in Stamford in 1996 from Fort Bragg in North Carolina to begin a second career as an executive at GE Capital, Archie went on to successive roles at United Technologies, the George Group and Accenture Manage- ment Consulting, prior to founding The Stamford Group in 2009. As a Stamford resident, Archie has been active in community and veterans affairs. He is a member of the VFW Post 9617 and of the Veterans Affairs Council
and Service Academy Nominations Panel for Congressman Himes, where he works to identify and mentor diverse and disadvantaged students interested in attending West Point. Archie also serves the Military Academy as a senior advisor on strategy and diversity.

On the community side, Archie is past president of the 100 Black Men of Stamford and the Fairfield/Westchester chapter of the National Black MBA Association. A former member of Stamford’s Board of Education, he also has served on the boards of the Connecticut Grand Opera, American Red Cross, United Way, Yerwood Center and the Advisory Council for the Academy of Information Technology & Engineering.

Senator Carlo Leone

U.S. Air Force

Carlo, who has lived in Stamford for more than 20 years, is a proud U.S. Air Force Veteran, having served on active duty from 1981 to 1987 in the U.S. and European Theater. His service included worldwide duty at Tactical Fighter and Strategic Bomber Wings, serving stateside at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas and at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota. His overseas duty was with Western NATO forces in Spain, Italy and Turkey. Over his years in the Air Force, Carlo supported, serviced maintained, and troubleshot ground equipment for a wide range of aircraft, including the F-15, F-16, F-4, A-10, T-38, USAF Thunderbirds Las Vegas, B-1, B-1B, B-52, C-135, C-140 and C-5 Aircraft.

Upon leaving the Air Force, Carlo worked for Xerox Corporation in various capacities, rising through the organization, serving in financial planning, analysis and control for operations. Over the past 11 years, Carlo has served as state representative for Stamford District 148, and currently serves as state senator for District 27 for Stamford and Darien. Carlo has been involved in passing key legislation and has been an active proponent of legislation supporting veterans, including the successful passage of a bill regarding free tuition for surviving members of vet- erans killed in action. Additionally, Carlo is the veterans program manager of The Workplace, a nonprofit dedicated to educating today’s workforce, and is operating a Supportive Services for Veteran Family program to assist and prevent veteran homelessness.

Carlo, who earned both his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, is a member of the Figli di Rose Italian Club in Springdale. He, his wife Karen and son Sam live in the Cove section of Stamford.

Henry Stern

U.S. Army

Henry Stern emigrated with his parents to the United States to escape the Holocaust. He grew up in New York City where he attended the prestigious Stuyvesant High School and then went on to attain his bachelor of science in chemistry from City College of New York.

Henry entered the U.S. Army in 1956 during the Korean War, and at the personal recommendation of Senator Jacob Javits, he was assigned to the Army’s Research Laboratory at the Quartermaster Food and Container Institute in Chicago. He served there as a member of a task force conducting research on food preservation and freeze drying meals for troops both in the States as well as overseas. Henry left active duty in 1958, but remained in the Army Reserves through 1963.

Prior to entering the service in Henry had worked as a chemist for Warner Lambert. Upon his honorable discharge as Specialist, Third Class in 1958, he went on to work as a research chemist for several food companies, including Standard Brands in New York City.

Henry and his wife Sandra, who married in 1965, relocated to Stamford in 1981. He is a long-time member of the Fred Robbins Post 142 of the Jewish War Veterans, for which he currently serves as Quartermaster. Among his various volunteer efforts, Henry’s main focus has been serving several days a week for more than 15 years with the senior lunch program at the Stamford Jewish Community Center.