from left: Mark Halliday, Assisted Living Services/Assisted Living Technologies Community Liaison; veterans Bob Boucher and Roberto Gagliardi of Wallingford; Attorney Henry Weatherby, and veteran Bob Fortino of North Branford, at the monthly Veteran’s Coffee House at the Wallingford Senior Center in August. The next gathering is scheduled for January 23rd. (contributed photo)
Meriden, CT - Military veterans of all ages will receive a warm welcome at the monthly Veteran’s Coffee House hosted by Assisted Living Services at the Wallingford Senior Center on Tuesday, January 23rd at 10:00am. Speaker Ken Duncan from Wallingford will share his experience as a Merchant Marine Officer and U.S. Navy Officer during World War II. A member of American Legion Post 187 in Wallingford, 95-year-old Duncan and fellow WWII Veteran Oyarma Tate will be the Grand Marshals of the Wallingford Memorial Day Parade 2018.
The popular Veteran’s gathering was developed by Mark Halliday, the Community Liaison for Assisted Living Services, in conjunction with the Wallingford Senior Center. In fact, the response to the program has been so incredible, that the Cheshire Senior Center has asked Halliday to host a monthly Veteran’s coffee house in their town.
“We are thrilled to give even more veterans a chance to get together on a casual basis for coffee, pastries and muffins,” said Halliday. “We often have more than 30 men and women in attendance who have the unique bond of serving in the military.”
At each meeting there is a presentation followed by a discussion. Topics have included health care benefits for Veterans, including programs that pay for long term care, as well as conflicts such as the Vietnam War. New members are introduced to the group then they all describe their service to our country. The group meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month in Wallingford and on the third Tuesday of the month in Cheshire.
“We encourage all veterans to attend these gatherings, particularly during the winter time,” said Halliday. “While it’s tempting to just stay home when the weather is cold, strong social connections are critical for mental health as we age.”
The speaker at the next Wallingford meeting on February 27th will be Steve Obsitnik of Westport, a U.S. Navy veteran who served as a nuclear submarine officer deployed on the U.S.S. Ray, a fast attack submarine. He received eight medals for distinguished service during his tenure in the U.S. Navy. He went on to earn a MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is an adjunct professor of business at Sacred Heart University. Obsitnik has been an entrepreneur and CEO of several successful technology and communications companies with global reach. He recently founded Imagine Connecticut, an advocacy group, to address practical, innovative solutions that confront Connecticut’s chronic fiscal crisis and job loss. Imagine Connecticut has over 150 leaders who represent over 50,000 employees in Connecticut. In 2012 he was the candidate for U.S. Congress in the 4th Congressional District of CT, which spans from Greenwich to Bridgeport, CT.
“It’s fantastic that Mark is always able to secure timely, high-powered speakers for his monthly meeting,” stated Ron D’Aquila RN, co-owner of Assisted Living Services. "We appreciate his continued dedication to this group, especially sharing crucial information with them about benefits they may not know they are entitled to receive.”
For more than 20 years, award-winning home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. in Meriden has provided quality care to residents across Connecticut. Their unique CarePlus program blends personal care with technological safety and monitoring devices from sister company Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. Learn more by visiting www.assistedlivingct.com or calling 203.634.8668.