By William Tauro
This past Sunday over one hundred fifty veterans enjoyed a fun filled day on the Boston Harbor at the Winter Hill Yacht Club’s (WHYC) Annual Veterans Cruise 2016.
Over twenty five privately donated boats from WHYC and Mystic Wellington Yacht Clubs driven by their captains provided a day of fun and well deserved enjoyment for the local service veterans.
After a continental breakfast served to the veterans, the cruise began at the Winter Hill Yacht Club that’s located at Assembly Square in Somerville and thanks to the dedicated cooperation of Massachusetts State Police Lieutenant James Concannon and Massachusetts Environmental Police Captains Hennessey and Anthony Abdal-Khabir, who are also veterans, the flotilla proceeded underway under State Police boat escort piloted and crewed by Massacusetts State PoliceTrooper Stephen Kamb and Trooper Vern Hubbard and also with a Massachusetts Environmental Police boat escort piloted and crewed by Environmental Police Officer Travis Huard and Environmental Police Officer Joshua Vinal, all military veteran themselves.
The flotilla traveled through the locks of the Amelia Earhart Dam them directly onto and under the Tobin Bridge and through the Boston Harbor then continuing around Castle Island where they met up with the Massport Fireboat.
The fireboat was piloted and crewed by Massport fire fighters Captain Rich Roy, Lieutenant Ray Hegarty, Firefighter Dean Lupisella and Firefighter Tim Howe who are also all veterans themselves and who also put on a spectacularwater show with an array of sprayed water for the veterans as they pasted alongside of them with their vessels.
The veterans were also were treated to a cannonball salute from a passing by sailboat mini/tall ship who’s captain noticed the flotilla of veterans parading by and radioed the state police boat making them aware of the tribute that they were about to present.
After the cruise the veterans were all invited back to the Winter Hill Yacht Club for an old-fashioned barbecue where Rear Commodore Vinny Pamasano and the Winter Hill Yacht Club members made a check presentation to various veteran groups to benefit local veterans.
United States Army Officers Lt. Colonel Paul Judge and Captain Micah Kidney addressed the crowd and both gave words of encouragement and praised the veterans and thank them for this many years of service to our great nation.
New Hampshire State Representative/ USMC Sergeant Ret Al Baldasaro who is veterans advisor for Presidential Candidate Donald Trump addressed the veterans with strong words of encouragement and congratulations and also sent his greetings and congratulations from the Republican Presidential Nominee.
Somerville Police Chief David Fallon was also at the event meeting and greeting the veterans as well as welcoming them to Somerville.
Active United States Marine Officers in full uniform, SSgt Joseph Baldasaro, SSgt Richard Rios and Sgt Moses Figueroa also attended the event and gave thanks to the veterans.
The 2016 Winter Hill Yacht Club Veterans cruise was sponsored and hosted by the members of the Winter Hill Yacht Club, WHYC Commodore Joe Basile of A&E Service Station of North Cambridge, Frank Pasquarello of Liliuokalani Ice Cream of Laconia NH on Lake Winnapasoki, and co-sponsored by the Chelsea rotary Club, Ken Webber of Krazy Kats Embroidery of Chelsea, Marriott Corp., Paul Revere Bus Co. and Dunkun Donuts Chelsea who all helped make this year’s veterans cruise a success!