Remembering Our Veterans

Council 4 union members showed their appreciation to state military veterans by holding our 16th annual Council 4 Veterans Picnic on May 25, 2019 at the State Veterans Home and Health Care Facility in Rocky Hill.

Every year Council 4 kicks off the Memorial Day holiday weekend with a huge barbeque prepared and served by union volunteers. 

 The picnic has special meaning for members like Dwight “DJ” Frederick, a retired Army veteran who has done two tours of duty in the Middle East.

“To me, [the picnic] is giving back, letting the veterans who are here know that we don’t forget their service and their contributions,” said Frederick, a state employee and member of AFSCME Local 714 (State P-2 Human & Social Services).

According to Council 4 Veterans Committee Chairman Steve Curran, the union has raised nearly $200,000 since the picnic’s inception in 2003. Those funds have enabled the donation of a new gymnasium with aerobic flooring, flat screen televisions for the lounge, computers and work stations, and picnic tables and rocking chairs, as well the renovation of the baseball field at the Veterans Home.

Council 4’s veterans outreach initiative has also resulted in contributions to other veterans’ advocacy organizations, including Homes for the Braves in Bridgeport, Disabled American Veterans – Chapter 2 (New Haven), the CT Run for the Fallen, the Veterans OASIS Center at Manchester Community College, and more. 

Army veteran Tommy Zima, who fought in Vietnam and now volunteers at the Veterans Home, expressed his heartfelt thanks to Council 4 for our continuing support and recognition of military veterans.

Thanks to all our members who volunteered their time to make this event possible, including the Council 4 Veterans Committee: Steve Curran, Local 1565 (retired); Jay Bartolomei, Local 714; Dana Beecham-Brown, Local 749; Claudine Wilkins-Chambers, Local 3429; Joe Cirigliano, Local 2930; Sandy DeCampos, Local 991; Marie DeSousa, Local 391 (retired); Dwight Frederick, Local 714; Aldo Godenzi, Local 184; Derek Puorro, Local 1361; Richard Rivera, Local 1161 (retired); Mark Rizzo, Local 1471; and Megan Batchelder, Council 4.

Click here for our 2019 Council 4 Veterans Picnic Photo Gallery.