Photos by Michele Sinclair and Vinny Pamasano
By William Tauro
This past Sunday over one hundred veterans enjoyed a fun filled day on the Boston Harbor at the Winter Hill Yacht Club’s (WHYC) Annual Veterans Cruise 2018.
Over twenty five privately donated boats from WHYC piloted by their captains provided a day of fun and well deserved enjoyment for the local service veterans.
After a hardy breakfast served to the veterans, the cruise began and departed from the Winter Hill Yacht Club that’s located at Assembly Square in Somerville.
The flotilla proceeded underway under State and Environmental Police boat escort through the locks of the Amelia Earhart Dam them directly onto and under the Tobin Bridge and through the Boston Harbor where the veterans were also treated to a closeup scenic view as the flotilla passed by the USS Constitution, the country’s oldest commissioned naval war ship before continuing onto Castle Island where a Boston Fire Department boat awaited the veterans with an amazing water spray from the ships power waterjets.
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 WHYC’s chef Vinny Pamasano and the Winter Hill Yacht Club members thanked and showed their appreciation to the veterans for their dedicated years of service.
Lt. Col Paul Judge US Army Reserve and New Hampshire State Representative, USMC 1St Sgt Retired Al Baldasaro took to the stage and 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 of service as well as making presentations honoring veterans and sponsors
Also at the Winter Hill Yacht Club in
Somerville, the United States Air Force JROTC cadets from Lowell High School in Lowell, MA volunteered their assistant serving the veterans breakfast, assisting them down the docks to and from and onto the boats as well as for a ceremonial arch of sabers that graciously greeted the veterans as they entered the hall.
The cadet’s that volunteered for the day were arranged by and under the leadership of their Senior Aerospace Instructor Lt Colonel (Air Force retired) Eileen Ironfield and her daughter Captain Emma LaBrecque who 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 5800 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.
Thanks goes out to Director of Somerville Veteran Services Byron Bishop along with Somerville Council on Aging Director Cindy Hickey and Norbert DiAmato who help spread the word among Somerville Veterans and assisted organizing the event.
The 2018 Winter Hill Yacht Club Veterans Cruise was sponsored and hosted by the members of the Winter Hill Yacht Club, the Chelsea Rotary Club, Ken & Kathy Webber of Krazy Kats Embroidery of Chelsea, Dunkin Donuts Middlesex Ave Somerville and Paul Revere Bus Company who all helped make this year’s annual veterans cruise another success!
Members of the Somerville Lions Club, Students from the Chelsea Interact Club, Rotarians from Chelsea and Belle Isle also assisted in the event.
Special thanks to the dedicated and continued support of Massachusetts State Police Trooper Stephen Kamb piloting MSP Marine Boat #14, Massachusetts State Police Lieutenant James J. Concannon for his continuous assistance and Massachusetts Environmental Police Captain James Hennessey and Josh Vinal who piloted the Massachusetts Environmental Police Boat that let the flotilla as well as for Captain Anthony Abdal-Khabir, who are all veterans themselves and who always step up to the plate to help make this event possible.