Photos by Michele Sinclair and Frank Santangelo
By William Tauro
This past Saturday over one hundred veterans enjoyed a fun filled day on the Boston Harbor at the Winter Hill Yacht Club’s (WHYC) Annual Veterans Cruise 2017.
Over twenty five privately donated boats from WHYC driven by their captains provided a day of fun and well deserved enjoyment for the local service veterans.
After a home cooked 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 Captain Hennessey and Captain Anthony Abdal-Khabir, who are also veterans, the flotilla proceeded underway under State Police boat escort piloted and crewed by Massacusetts State Police Trooper Hubbard (Veteran) and Trooper Stephen Kamb (Father of a Veteran) and also with a Massachusetts Environmental Police boat escort piloted by Environmental Police Officer Sergeant Andrew J. Ford, a military veteran himself.
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.
The veterans were also were treated to a closeup scenic view as the flotilla passed by the USS Constitution, the country’s oldest commissioned naval war ship.
After the cruise the veterans were all invited back to the Winter Hill Yacht Club for an old-fashion barbecue prepared by the yacht club members where Rear Commodore Vinny Pamasano and the Winter Hill Yacht Club members thanked the veterans for their dedicated years of service.
Lt.Col Mike Harmon USMC. (Ret) addressed the crowd and gave words of encouragement and praised the veterans and thank them for this many years of service to our great nation.
Also at the Winter Hill Yacht Club in Somerville, Air Force JROTC cadets from Lowell High School in Lowell, MA (Christina Florez, Natalie Luna, Kyana Mora, Pechtida Kim, Lily Faulkner, Timmothy Sok, Terryl Foryoung, and Josephine Theng under the leadership of their Senior Aerospace Instructor Lt Colonel (Air Force retired) Eileen Ironfield and her daughter Emma LaBrecque from Methuen High School) assisted and served the over 100 local area Veterans. The cadets are just a small cadre of the 400 cadet Wing at Lowell High School. Last year the cadets had over 5200 hours of community service along with several Color Guard and Honor Guard events throughout the City of Lowell and across Massachusetts. These cadets are truly professional and depict the utmost integrity and drive to help out the community in any way, shape and form.
Director of Somerville Veteran Services Byron Bishop spoke to the veterans thanking them for their commitment, dedication and their ultimate sacrifices that they all made for our country as well as for their years service.
New Hampshire State Representative/ USMC Sergeant Ret Al Baldasaro who was a 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 Presidential.
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, the Chelsea rotary Club, Ken & Kathy Webber of Krazy Kats Embroidery of Chelsea, Marriott Hotel Corp. of Chelsea and Paul Revere Bus Co. who all helped make this year’s annual veterans cruise another success!