Read About Joseph
Second Lieutenant Joe Colavito was born and raised in Carmel, NY. He attended Manhattanville College receiving a Bachelor of Music Degree in 2009 and a Master of Arts in Education in 2010. He began teaching music at Toquam Magnet Elementary School in August 2010 and then enlisted in the Connecticut Army National Guard in December of that year as a 42R, Army Musician. He attended basic training at Ft. Benning, Georgia during the summer of 2011. In April 2012 he attended the Advanced Individual Training at the Army School of Music at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base, Virginia, completing it in June 2012, and then transferred briefly to the Virgin Islands National Guard, while teaching k-12 music on St. Croix. He returned to Stamford in December 2012 and started a full time job (AGR) at the supply NCO of the 102d Army Band in Rockville, CT.
In February of 2013, Joe joined the full time Guard force. Since then, he has served as the supply sergeant for the 102D Army Band, a recruiting and retention noncommissioned officer (NCO), and the marketing and social media NCO for the 6th Recruiting and Retention Battalion. In May of 2017, Joe accepted a position as a recruiter for the CT Army National Guard in Middletown, CT. In November 2019, Joe was transferred to the Stamford office.
Joe went on to State Officers Candidate School in March of 2020, which he completed in September 2021, and he accepted his commission in January 2022. Among Joe’s military achievements are that he graduated Basic Leaders Course, Advanced Leaders Course, Senior Leaders Course, Rifle Marksmanship Trainer Course, and Army Master Fitness Trainer Course.
Joe currently serves on the Stamford Patriotic and Special Events Committee. In his free time, he sometimes performs at Curtain Call and he coaches fitness at Affinity Athletics in Stamford.
He is currently stationed at Ft. Lee, Virginia, completing Quartermaster Basic Officer Leader Course. Joe Colavito makes his home in Stamford with his wife Jenna, and his two children, Johnny and Rosie.
COTY is pleased to honor Second Lieutenant Joseph Colavito as a 2022 COTY Honored Veteran.
Read About Stephen
Steve Fischer was born in 1942 in Philadelphia, where he also attended and graduated from Drexel University in 1964 with a B.S. in Commerce. After attending graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned an M.S.E. in Computers and Information Science in 1966, he joined the U.S. Army and attended Engineer Officer Basic Training in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he was assigned to the United States Military Academy at West Point where he functioned as an Operations Officer and Assistant Director of the Academic Computer Center, eventually being promoted to the rank of Captain and being awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
At West Point Steve oversaw the day to day operations of the Academy’s computer center, was responsible for procurement of a new multi-million dollar academic computer system and co-developed its multi-user time-sharing system (something like the cloud, today). He also created many other technical innovations while he taught classes in computer programming to cadets, acted in an advisory role, and was Survivor Assistance Officer, responsible for the sacred and somber task of notifying and providing assistance to next of kin when a soldier was killed in action.
After West Point, Steve returned to Philadelphia to be near his extended family, and began a full career in finance and technology, for Honeywell, MAACO Enterprises, Triumphe Financial Services, Merck Pharmaceuticals and founded the Castle Consulting Group, a software, computer and database design firm.
In 2004 at the urging of his two children and their families, Steve moved to Stamford—his daughter Jennifer in Westport, and his son Brett in Scarsdale, where he has continued Castle Consulting and has become an integral part of our community. He’s served the Stamford Senior Center as a computer consultant, a member of the Board of Directors and its Treasurer, the Economic Development Commission (Vice Chair), the Urban Redevelopment Commission (Vice Chair), the Old Town Hall Redevelopment Agency and the Senior Men’s Association (Board member and communication director), to name a few. He’s also served as Commander of the Stamford Veterans Council and the Jewish War Veterans, a volunteer for Toys for Tots, and served in various capacities with COTY. He’s also a collaborative partner with the Stamford Veterans Park Partnership and a member of the American Legion.
Steve lives in Stamford with his wife Arlene (of 57 years) and near his 6 grandkids, courtesy of Jennifer and Brett
U.S. Air Force
Read About Mary
Mary became interested in serving in the U.S. Air Force as a child while spending time at Andrews Air Force in Washington D.C. while her father fulfilled his reserve duty in the NATO research facilities as a Lt. Colonel. Following in her father’s footsteps, Mary joined the USAF through the Recruit Officer Training Corp at Manhattan College in New York, and served from July 28, 1981 until February 28, 1986.
She was first assigned as a 2nd Lieutenant to her first base, Mt. Home AFB in Idaho, where she took the post at the 366 Supply Squadron, TAC, as a Combat Supply Organization officer. Her primary responsibility was to control all repair cycle support of approximately 1000 F-111A aircraft and maintenance material control repair cycle monitor function, where she supervised 27 people over a 24 hour week operation.
Next, she was transferred to the 40th Supply Squadron (USAFE), Aviano Air Base Italy. The base supported F-16 and F-5 aircraft and defense communication requirements throughout Italy. There she was assigned to a major’s position as Wing/Base Material Support Officer. Mary also was assigned to wartime duties in the base survival recovery center where she was able to quickly learn the details of the job under the pressure of local exercises. As Lt. Col. Gary E. Whittlinger stated in her review, her ability to focus on many problems created greater effectiveness in the processing, research, and technical order maintenance programs in support of aircraft and communications customers. In addition, he stated, Mary ensured that the equipment data bank accuracy rate remained exceptionally high at 99.7 percent, which was two points above the worldwide accuracy rate. He commended her ability to generate enthusiasm and a strong degree of loyalty and cooperation toward the mission. Her caliber as an officer was considered one to model for all officers.
During her service Mary earned the medal of AF Commendation, AF Outstanding Unit Award, AF Longevity service award, small arms expert marksmanship, AF Training ribbon, and AF Overseas Long Tour Ribbon.
Having honorably completed her service, Mary continued her education at Manhattanville College where she earned a Masters in Professional Service concentrating in special education and elementary education, before going on to teaching, now at Villa Maria here in Stamford. Throughout her teaching career one of her primary goals were to instill in the youth a greater sense of loyalty and patriotism for our country.
COTY is proud to salute Mary as a 2022 Honored Veteran.
Read About Terrence
Terrance McGrath was born on August 31, 1950, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Stamford, Connecticut. He attended St. Mary’s grade school and Stamford Catholic High School, where he graduated with the class of 1968.
The following November, Terrance enlisted in the United States Navy, where he earned the rank of Third Class Petty Officer E-4 prior to his honorable discharge after four years, in November, 1972.
During his time in the Navy, Petty Officer McGrath was assigned to the USS Ogden LPD-5, a Austin-class amphibious transport dock that had been commissioned from 1965 through 2007 and was assigned to Assault Craft Unit One (ACU-1) a Pacific Ocean Maritime Prepositioning Force in the United States Navy.
The Ogden was a type of designated Landing Craft Utility (LCU), and with a capacity of 100 tons, it would transport anything the Battalion Landing Team (BLT) needed. A BLT was composed of 900 marines including trucks, jeeps, Amtrak, tanks and all supplies, ammo, equipment, etc.
During the Marine operations Petty Officer McGrath and his crew, composed of an officer and five to six enlisted men, transported from the ship to landing areas to assist the BTU with resupply as needed. Each crew making the transport was.
After his honorable discharge, Terrance was appointed to the Stamford Fire Department in June 19, 1978 where he served with distinction for 35 years.
Terrance married and settled in the Glenbrook section of Stamford with his wife Deborah, where they raised their son Daniel. Terrance and Deborah’s families go back for generations in Stamford, where they have had Fathers, Uncles and an Aunt who served in WWII and Vietnam.
COTY is proud to salute Terrance McGrath as a 2022 COTY Honored Veteran.
Leslie L. Monthan
Read About Leslie
When asked where she’s from, Leslie often replies, “All over.” She grew up in a Navy family: Her father is a retired career Navy fighter pilot, and her mother’s father was a distinguished rear admiral. By the age of 13, Leslie had lived in six different East Coast locations. When her father retired as a Captain in 1970, the family moved to his hometown, Tucson, Ariz. After high school and a year as an exchange student in Sweden, Leslie graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in theater in 1979. It was not originally her intention to follow the family line into the Navy, as both her older sisters had done, but in 1980 she chose to postpone pursuing her acting career and was accepted to Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I. She was commissioned an Ensign, USNR, in July 1980.
Her first duty station was Naval Security Group Activity Skaggs Island, in Northern California, serving first as administrative officer and then as communications security training officer, leading a team of enlisted specialists who conducted inspections and training visits at Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard commands from Monterey, Calif., to Adak, Alaska. Promoted to Lieutenant, USN, in 1983, her next assignment was as Officer-in-Charge of the Navy Alcohol Safety Action Program for the Northern California region, based at Naval Air Station Alameda. There she headed a team that conducted early intervention education for service members identified with substance abuse, as well as awareness training for supervisors. Leslie also did outreach to senior Navy commanders and civilian courts in the area to encourage the use of NASAP training for at-risk service members.
In October 1986, Leslie left the Navy and spent the next couple of decades as a professional actor, mostly in the San Francisco area in regional theatre, commercials, and voiceovers. She moved to Manhattan in 1997, and eventually her “day job” as a magazine copy editor became her third and longest career. She worked for almost 15 years for This Old House. Always an avid do-it-yourselfer, Leslie celebrated the week of her 50th birthday by volunteering on a Habitat for Humanity build in the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina. Her volunteer interests were, indirectly, how she eventually landed in Stamford: For many years This Old House collaborated with Stamford-based HomeFront Inc. in its annual HomeFront Day, and Leslie was an enthusiastic participant, helping repair homes for low-income homeowners in Fairfield County alongside her TOH editorial and TV-show colleagues. In 2012 they worked on a house in Stamford, and Leslie enjoyed the area so much that by September that year she had purchased a home in the Cove neighborhood.
Today, Leslie is the copy chief for the nonprofit Consumer Reports in Yonkers. She is enjoying her first season singing with The Stamford Chorale and is looking forward to someday retiring from the day job and having more time for volunteer and artistic pursuits. She is proud to report that her nieces are a Captain in the Coast Guard and a Major in the Air Force active reserve, and both served in the Middle East. Her father, now 98, has sworn the oath of office to all of his daughters and granddaughters.
James A. Sparrow
U.S. Marine Corps
Read About James
For over twenty years, James Sparrow was the Executive Director of Vietnam Veterans Agent Orange Victims, Inc., the non-profit national organization that filed the original lawsuit against the chemical companies that manufactured the defoliant, Agent Orange. The organization he helped found went on to assist tens of thousands of veterans and their families.
Mr. Sparrow was born March 3, 1947 and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. He is a 1965 graduate of Stamford High School. After graduation, he immediately joined the United States Marine Corps for a four-year enlistment as an 0311 rifleman. He served with the Second Marine Division in the Caribbean and Latin America, and also with NATO Forces in Norway. He graduated from the United States Army School of the Americas for Jungle Warfare in Panama, and shipped out for Vietnam. Mr. Sparrow served in Vietnam from December 1966 to January 1968 with the First Marine Provisional Rifle Company and had the honor of serving in units of the 1stand 3rd Marine Divisions and the 1st Marine Air Wing. His duties included patrols and ambushes, medivacs and resupply missions. For his military service he was awarded the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Medal, the Expert Rifle Badge, 2 Naval Unit Citations, and 2 Presidential Unit Citations.
Mr. Sparrow has been involved in veteran’s affairs most of his adult life, on a local, state and national basis. He is Past Commander of VFW Post 10013, Stamford; Past Commander of American Legion Post 3, Stamford; Past Commander of VFW Post 6933, Darien. On Veterans Day, 1996, he was the recipient of the prestigious Connecticut State Veterans Commendation Medal for a lifetime of work with veterans and their families.
He is now retired, but stays active in the veteran community. He lives in Stamford with his wife and their extended family–his daughter and her husband, their two granddaughters and great grandsons.