ProJo: Hundreds pay tribute as Bristol post office is renamed in memory of fallen soldier

ProJo: Hundreds pay tribute as Bristol post office is renamed in memory of fallen soldier

By Linda Borg

BRISTOL, R.I. — A Bristol native who died serving in Afghanistan was honored Sunday for his patriotism on one of the country’s most patriotic streets.

More than 200 people along with Gov. Gina Raimondo and the entire congressional delegation turned out to dedicate the Bristol Post Office on Hope Street in memory of 1st Sgt. P. Andrew McKenna Jr.

“It’s wonderful we should be here on this most patriotic street in America,” said U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. “Go forward 100 years. A child will come through the post office doors and ask, ‘Who was Sergeant McKenna?’ and his mother will say, ‘Let’s look it up.’ And his memory will be revived again, as it should be.”

When terrorists breached his defensive perimeter with a truck bomb in Kabul on Aug. 7, 2015, McKenna ran toward attackers, helping to repulse them while losing his own life. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the third-highest military honor, and the Purple Heart. A Green Beret assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group, he was deployed overseas six times, and received the Bronze Star during his first tour in Afghanistan.

“We owe him the debt of gratitude forever,” Raimondo said. “How many of us would have run toward fire, toward danger? His humility was the most distinguished thing about him. He did it because it was the right thing to do.”

McKenna always wanted to be a soldier.

As a child, he rarely took off his “Army” uniform, and friends remembered how he organized the neighborhood kids into one band of brothers or another.

“From the youngest age, he wanted to be a soldier,” said Robert McKenna of Bristol, a cousin. “He’d gather the local kids and off they’d go on their mission.”

McKenna traveled far from home during his nearly 20 years of service, but he never forgot what made Bristol special.

Three years ago, he was honored at the Bristol Fourth of July parade for traveling the farthest — from Afghanistan — to his hometown. The town bestowed an American flag that had once flown above the White House.

A month later, he was gone.

His mother, Carol McKenna, was a bit overwhelmed by this latest tribute, which was hardly the first. A stretch of Route 114 between the Warren Bridge and the Mount Hope Bridge has been renamed in his honor. A monument sits in front of the Bristol VFW Club.

“If he was here, he’d say, ‘I can’t believe people are doing this,’” said Carol McKenna. “I have mixed emotions. I’d give all of this up in a heartbeat…. He was a special man.”

Even those who didn’t know McKenna personally had some connection to his family. The mother whose son, an Eagle Scout, helped build the monument on Hope Street. The neighbor who has a photograph of him as a little boy, dressed in his uniform.

“It’s a small town,” Pam Meyer said. “People come out.”

Sgt. Maj. Calvin Boersma served with McKenna in Afghanistan. He said Andrew saved his life.

Boersma described the boyish side of McKenna, the young soldier who liked to tear up North Carolina on his motorcycle, the guy who gave friends a thumbs-up if he liked their girlfriends.

But he also recalled a man who was fiercely loyal, no matter how far away his buddies were. When one soldier was in a bad way, McKenna showed at his house and forced him to get out of bed and go outside. The friend later described that encounter as a turning point.

“He loved his town and his country,” Boersma said. “His patriotism was driven by how he grew up. I don’t think there could be a better place in the world to commemorate him.”

ProJo: $2M grant to establish Zero Suicide initiative in Southern R.I.

ProJo: $2M grant to establish Zero Suicide initiative in Southern R.I.

By G. Wayne Miller

RICHMOND, R.I. — Already a leader in mental-health awareness and services, the South County Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds collaborative has received $2 million in federal funding aimed at reducing suicides. The funding was announced Monday at Harvest Acres Farm, whose owners, Cindy and John Duncan, lost their teenage daughter to suicide.

The funding will enable the collaborative to establish its “Zero Suicide in Washington County” initiative, described by the state Department of Health and three members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation in a joint statement as a “wide-ranging program for health care providers across the region to screen for the warning signs of suicide and provide vital services to further assess and care for those at risk of suicide.”

Dr. Robert Harrison, director of the project, described it as “both a system and a culture change [and] also the most effective program proven to drastically reduce suicides in health care systems for the initiative. Yale New Haven Health/Westerly Hospital is proud to collaborate with South County Health and every other major health care organization in the region to prevent the most preventable death — suicide — in Washington County.”

Among other significant efforts, South County Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds has joined the international Mental Health First Aid effort, which now includes the University of Rhode Island, whose provost, Donald H. DeHayes, sits on the collaborative’s board.

“We can mount this program in South County because of the strength of South County Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, a collaboration of healthcare providers, the school systems, URI, our community action agency, business partners and many other social service agencies,” said South County Health president and CEO Lou Giancola.

The $2 million in funding will flow from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“This initiative is a comprehensive approach that has brought in advocates and family members who have been impacted by suicide to bring help, hope, and light to those in need who are going through a dark time,” said Senator Jack Reed.

Said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: “Making sure health care professionals have the training and resources to lend care and support to those fighting depression and thoughts of suicide will go a long way toward getting us to zero suicides.”

Added U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, whose district includes South County, “Suicide is preventable, and we need to do all we can to save these lives.”

While providing direct services and raising funds for mental-health causes and awareness, Harvest Acres Farm also memorializes Cassie Duncan, who lost her life to suicide during the Christmas 2005 holidays. Fourteen years old and an artist, Cassie had not shared what she was experiencing.

“It’s absolutely incredible how far we have come,” Cindy said in May, as Harvest Acres marked yet another expansion of its programming. “It’s a true blessing. Cassie and God are smiling and I couldn’t be happier.”

South County now joins a growing movement to reduce suicide. In May, Butler Hospital announced its own Zero Suicide initiative.

NavSea News: NUWC Newport hosts Advanced Naval Technology Exercise

NavSea News: NUWC Newport hosts Advanced Naval Technology Exercise

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. — The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport hosted the 2018 Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) Human Machine Interaction (HMI 18) Aug. 30-31 at its Narragansett Bay Test Facility (NBTF).

Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman James Langevin both visited the exercise and spoke to assembled dignitaries and participants on Aug. 30.

“Anyone who operates underwater can appreciate new technology that has enabled remotely operated vehicles to be so much more powerful and capable, whether it is computers or communications or planning systems,” said Whitehouse.

Langevin added, “ANTX showcases the importance of partnerships between Navy, academia, and industry in driving American innovation, which in turn enables our technological superiority on the battlefield. I can think of no better way to present technology development and innovative maritime systems – these are several things the Ocean State is very good at.”

Additional speakers included Senior Executive Service (SES) member Ron Vien, division technical director at NUWC Newport; Capt. Michael Coughlin, NUWC Newport’s commanding officer; Rear Adm. John Tammen, the Navy’s director of undersea warfare, and Dr. William Burnett, SES, deputy commander and technical director to the Commander Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC) in Stennis, Mississippi. CNMOC was one of the government partners at ANTX HMI 18.

“We’re expanding the overarching goals of ANTX: collaboration, innovation, and fleet feedback,” said Vien.

ANTX is an annual multi-day event originally created by NUWC Division Newport to demonstrate future Navy technologies in action today. Naval warfare centers, universities and industry partners were invited to showcase their latest unmanned systems and related technologies. ANTX provided a low-risk environment in which scientists and engineers evaluated their technological innovations at the research and development level before they become militarized and integrated at the operational level thus providing a glimpse of tomorrow’s technologies.

ANTX HMI 18 was the largest ANTX event hosted at NUWC Newport in terms of the number of participants, vehicles, and technologies since the exercise series began in 2015. This exercise involved more than 55 participants from industry, academia and government as well as fleet personnel who provided critical feedback to participants

Consistent with the human machine interaction theme, participants identified science and technologies that enable or achieve coordinated detection, localization, tracking and/or targeting for undersea, surface and air environments. With this focus in mind, the exercise explored ways in which these technologies enable human trust in machines to support operational decision making.

“It is critical to develop a wide array of weapons and sensors to overmatch our adversaries,” Langevin said, “UUVs present a variety of opportunities to protect our naval assets and project power and gather information and conduct operations in conjunction with the traditional fleet all over the world.”

“I look forward to ANTX every year. I’m so excited about what has been accomplished so far and the prospects for ANTX in the years ahead,” said Whitehouse. “This is a growth part, not just for the defense sector, but for the technology of our country. I want to make sure Newport stays at the forefront of it.”

NUWC Division Newport, part of NAVSEA, is one of two divisions of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. NUWC Division Newport’s mission is to provide research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures. NUWC’s other division is located in Keyport, Washington.

Warwick Post: Congressional Delegation Wins $633K for new WFD Rescue

Warwick Post: Congressional Delegation Wins $633K for new WFD Rescue

By Rob Borkowski

WARWICK, RI  — Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation announced  the Warwick Fire Department will receive a $633,789 grant for a new rescue truck, part of $1,113,758 in federal funding awarded to the city, Little Compton, North Kingstown, and Woonsocket.

On Thursday, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced the grants for Warwick’s new truck and to help North Kingstown, Little Compton, and Woonsocket fire departments upgrade essential equipment.

The federal funds were awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, according to an announcement from Sen. Jack Reed’s office.  AFG grants are designed to supply critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources necessary to protect local communities.  Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation helped include a total of $350 million for AFG firefighter equipment grants in the 2018 Omnibus Appropriations law.

The WFD will purchase a new, tandem-axle heavy duty rescue vehicle that will replace a dated, 26-year-old medium duty model that responded to over 1,600 incidents in 2016 alone.  The new heavy duty vehicle will help firefighters with extrications, large vehicle stabilization, Advanced Life Support (ALS) medical response, surface and shoreline water rescue, rope rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue and structural firefighting.

The North Kingstown Fire Department will use its $268,605 grant to replace its outdated Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) currently in use by firefighters.  The purchase includes new SCBA units, SCBA bottles, and face pieces.  The equipment will be used by firefighters during emergency response situations to ensure safe breathing amid fires and other situations involving toxic air quality.

The Little Compton Fire Department is receiving a regional $211,364 grant alongside the Woonsocket Fire Department to purchase new power cots, which are battery operated stretchers capable of lifting very heavy patients, incorporated with a hydraulic lift system that loads/unloads the power cot from the ambulance.  The goal of the purchase is to reduce injuries to the department’s firefighter/EMTs, increase the safety of patients by decreasing cot drop incidents, and enhance the department’s operability throughout the region.

“It is critical that our firefighters possess quality tools that are suitable to meet the grueling demands of their profession,” said Langevin, a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security, which oversees the AFG program. “These highly competitive federal grants will help protect the health and safety of our first responders and the communities they serve.”

“I am very grateful to Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Congressman Langevin for their hard work to secure us the funding for this very necessary apparatus,” said Warwick Mayor Joseph J. Solomon.  “The safety and well-being of all who live and work in our community and who travel through Warwick each year is of paramount importance to me and our public safety officials.  This heavy-duty rescue vehicle will further ensure that we are able to respond to any crisis quickly and effectively. We are very fortunate to have a Congressional delegation that advocates so strongly for Rhode Island’s emergency responders and work tirelessly for our communities. I look forward to their continued support in the future for similar efforts to assure the ongoing safety of T.F. Green International Airport’s travelers and our community overall. ”

“Our emergency responders deserve access to the best equipment possible so they can do their jobs safely and effectively. This funding will not only benefit our firefighters, but all Rhode Islanders,”  said Cicilline.

“These federal funds will help enhance public safety, improve emergency response capabilities, and provide our firefighters with the resources and equipment they need,” said Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee that oversees FEMA funding.  “I am grateful to our firefighters for the life-saving work they do and I will continue working hard at the federal level to support them and help them get the job done safely and effectively.”

“These grants will help equip our first responders with cutting-edge gear to do their job safely and effectively,” said Whitehouse.  “We’re grateful for everything they do to keep our communities safe.”

WPRI: Five RI fire departments to split $3.8M federal grant

WPRI: Five RI fire departments to split $3.8M federal grant

By Anita Baffoni

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Cumberland, Saylesville, Smithfield, West Warwick, and Woonsocket Fire Departments will be the beneficiaries of a $3.8 million federal grant, Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation announced Friday.  

The grant is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) SAFER Grant and the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) programs.

The grant will go toward the hiring of 28 new firefighters and safety equipment among the five fire departments.

  • Cumberland Fire Department will use its $303,879 SAFER grant to hire two new firefighters
  • Saylesville Fire Department will use its $143,790 SAFER grant to hire one new firefighter
  • Smithfield Fire Department will use its $1,886,122 SAFER grant to hire 13 new firefighters
  • Woonsocket Fire Department will use its $1,535,130 SAFER grant to hire 12 new firefighters
  • West Warwick Fire Department will use its $6,819 AFG grant to purchase a thermal imaging camera

“These federal funds will help ensure fire departments are well-staffed and well-equipped,” U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said. “Adding these additional firefighters will improve the level of service and public safety,”

“Making sure our fire departments are equipped with enough personnel and the proper equipment is vital to the protection of our communities,” Congressman Jim Langevin added.

Since 2001, more than $38 million in AFG grants have been awarded to Rhode Island fire departments and nearly $43 million in SAFER grants since 2005, according to the delegation.

WJAR: Westerly train station reopens with art gallery

WJAR: Westerly train station reopens with art gallery

By Miles Montgomery

WESTERLY, R.I. — Gov. Gina Raimondo, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, and Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti, Jr. joined the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly to celebrate the reopening of the Westerly Train Station Friday.

Following Amtrak’s change to online and mobile smartphone ticketing, the station was closed for the last two years. The new station features an indoor waiting area, access to restrooms while providing a new arts venue for the local Westerly community. The station will be closed Sunday to Tuesday but will open Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“This project is a fantastic example of what can be accomplished through successful partnerships. The state, local community and the Artists’ Cooperative worked together on a solution that will provide a vital service to the public while expanding the cultural fabric of the community,” Raimondo said.

“It is great to see this historic train station being reopened to welcome travelers and art lovers alike. Instead of just a platform for passengers, it will serve as a platform for talented local artists to showcase their work in this unique setting,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed. Senator Reed is the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development , who worked to provide record funding for Amtrak in 2018, some of which will help Westerly Train Station make needed improvements to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“This creative approach for reopening the Westerly Train Station provides a temporary home for the Artists’ Cooperative of Westerly, ensuring the public retains access to the works of local artists. I applaud the Gallery and RIDOT for working together to support Rhode Island’s art economy,” Langevin said.

“Westerly Station is an important part of our transit infrastructure,” Alviti said. “It is wonderful to see it come back to life with a new tenant. We appreciate the willingness of the Artists’ Cooperative to welcome Amtrak passengers. It creates a sense of vitality.”

Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly President Arlene Piacquadio said, “The Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly is pleased to join with RIDOT and the Ocean Community United Theater to unite our community through the arts with work of local artists displayed in the Westerly Train Station.”

The gallery is expected to remain in the station until renovations are completed on its former location, the United Theatre complex. The complex will be home to the gallery and will be the first satellite location of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School when the renovations are finished.

The Westerly station, owned by RIDOT, has served passengers since 1912 and provides service for Amtrak’s Northeast Regional trains, including nine stops on weekdays and six stops on weekends.

ProJo: Citizens Bank unveils $285M Johnston campus, complete with robot security guard

ProJo: Citizens Bank unveils $285M Johnston campus, complete with robot security guard

By Brian Amaral

JOHNSTON, R.I. — Citizens Bank’s new, 425,000-square foot, $285-million campus here means a lot of things to a lot of people: jobs coming to town, a 20-year property-tax deal, walking trails open for public use where a landfill used to sit, two years of construction work, a chance for politicians to wield scissors at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday.

But to Anna Costa, a longtime Citizens employee who came to the event in a bedazzled green hat and green beads, it’s much more than even all that.

“It means a commitment to the community, and a commitment to us,” said Costa, a Lincoln resident who’s worked at Citizens for 23 years and started as a teller. “It’s going to feel like home.”

Costa was one of the hundreds of Citizens Bank employees who came out, clad in green, to watch the ceremonial opening of the new corporate campus. Company officials and local dignitaries said the new campus would be a boost for the town and the Rhode Island-based bank.

“This was going to be the largest construction project in Rhode Island in over a decade, so there was a lot at stake here, making sure we got this right,” CEO Bruce Van Saun told a group of employees and visitors.

The project, built on an old landfill off Route 295, took two years almost to the day from the groundbreaking to the ribbon-cutting, and very nearly was finished on budget, Van Saun said.

Within months, some 3,000 people will be working in Johnston, moving from other parts of the company, according to bank officials. Citizens’ headquarters will remain in Providence.

Of the new people who will be working in Johnston, about 800 will be call center employees moving in from space the company is currently renting. The design goes against the stereotypical image of a corporate call center: the windowless warren of cubicles, dimly lighted in fluorescence. No matter where anyone sits, said Keith Kelly, president of Citizens Bank Rhode Island, they won’t be more than 40 feet from a window.

“Creating a state-of-the-art facility like this will help perform and collaborate better,” Kelly said in an interview Monday.

The campus also features ball fields that local youth leagues will be able to play on, space to play bocce — Costa said she was going to challenge the mayor to a game — and a rain-collection system on the roof.

Any rain-collection system would have been put to use Tuesday: it rained on and off all morning, including a quick burst the exact moment that a group of politicians and bank officials snipped up portions of a Citizens Bank ribbon outside to applause.

Patrolling it all was the Knightscope K5, a robotic security guard resembling a portlier R2D2. It is equipped with cameras and can read license plates to make sure people don’t come onto the campus that aren’t supposed to, said Derek Lemire, senior physical security officer.

“It shows we’re forward-thinking,” Lemire said.

For the ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, Citizens pulled out all the stops: Groups of employees, whom the bank refers to as “colleagues,” waved and smiled to cars as they drove in. Local students marched and sang, and a local police honor guard took part.

The entire congressional delegation — U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline — were there, as was Gov. Gina Raimondo.

“It’s a wonderful partnership,” said Raimondo, noting the bank’s two-century track record, “and we hope it continues for the next 200 years.”

The dignitaries lauded, in particular, Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena. Whitehouse referred to the site of the bank as the “wind-swept Mount Polisena.” Langevin noted that Polisena was always ready to talk turkey.

Polisena, for his part, said the development will change the town for the better.

“We all know they could have gone up the road to Taxachusetts — err, I mean, Massachusetts,” Polisena said to laughter.

The town approved a tax deal under which Citizens will pay $250,000 per year in property taxes per year. Especially compared to a big development with lots of housing units and lots of students, it was a good deal for the town, Polisena said.

“This place,” Polisena said, “will put Johnston on the map.”

Warwick Post: Langevin talks growth, small business needs with local chambers of commerce

Warwick Post: Langevin talks growth, small business needs with local chambers of commerce

By Rob Borkowski

EAST GREENWICH — Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) hosted three roundtable discussions with leaders in the Rhode Island small business community Thursday, focusing on business needs and economic growth strategies, the first of many themed days for the Langevin Listening Tour, a district-wide initiative Langevin is leading to collect feedback and gain insight from constituents.

“Small businesses are the engine that drives Rhode Island’s economy,” said Congressman Langevin. “They support economic activity, help build communities, and employ the majority of private sector workers in our state. I look forward to engaging with local business leaders and listening to their ideas to improve our business climate and foster further economic growth.”

“We need to all work together to provide resources and assistance to small businesses and to the community groups that support economic development.” said John Kevorkian, a Partner at Sprout CoWorking who is hosting Congressman Langevin for a tour before the first roundtable event with members of the co-working and incubator community.

Congressman Langevin is a tireless advocate for small business in Rhode Island,” said Lauren Slocum, the Executive Director of Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce and the lead organizer of the roundtable at the New England Institute of Technology. “I am pleased to see he is continuing his outreach, and I look forward to a spirited discussion of the issues.”

“This convening session provides an opportunity for a sampling of our chamber members and of other chambers to voice their pressing concerns about operating a small business in Rhode Island”, said Kristin Urbach, the Executive Director of the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce. “Based on our past experience with Congressman Langevin, we know that he is not only a great listener, but also a leader who takes action and follows up to achieve the desired outcome. We’re honored that the Congressman selected Dan’s Carriage Inn located in North Kingstown for his South County small business event.”

Coventry Courier: Coventry resident receives medals for WWII service

Coventry Courier: Coventry resident receives medals for WWII service

Written by Kendra Port

COVENTRY – On Friday Congressman James Langevin presented military decorations to retired Chief Petty Officer Edmund Del Barone, a Coventry resident who earned his medals throughout the course of his 22 years in the U.S. Navy.

Del Barone began his service in 1940 when he attended boot camp at the Newport Naval Station. He spent the majority of his naval career at sea performing maintenance on the several ships he was stationed on, including a destroyer, the USS Wadleigh.

Del Barone accepted his numerous medals during a ceremony at Alpine Nursing Home in Coventry surrounded by his friends and children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“When we were contacted about his medals we were very proud to go to work and do what we needed to do to track these medals down and verify his eligibility for each,” said Langevin. “It’s one of the longest lists I’ve ever read.”

Del Barone received the Combat Action Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze star; the Navy Good Conduct Medal (5th award); the American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp; the American Campaign Medal; the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one silver star and two bronze stars; the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star; and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal – Lebanon.

“Throughout this generation there is a pride that has continued to show through,” said Langevin. “He put on the uniform and did what needed to be done, and that’s so typical of the World War II generation. There are many men and woman who continue putting on the uniform and we’re grateful for your service.”

“When we talk about heroes, look no further than the World War II generation, the greatest generation that helped shape the world,” said Kasim Yarn, Rhode Island Director of Veterans Affairs. “What can they tell us? Everything, through the lens of our greatest generation. They set the standard for all of us to be here today. He didn’t do this by himself and it wasn’t about him – it was about serving his nation.”

“I salute you,” Yarn concluded.

Langevin said the many medals Del Barone received show a “dedication to our nation and the principles for which it stands.”

Del Barone is also a talented artist, having painted several emblems for naval ships as well as murals for different Veterans of Foreign Wars posts. He even painted one of the first emblems at the Naval War College in Newport.

“We’re very proud to see him recognized,” said his grandson, Dennis Tallo. “It should have happened 50 years ago, so it’s a long time coming.”

Prior to the ceremony Del Barone’s granddaughter, Kim, performed a rendition of Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless the USA.’

Patch: Langevin Presents Medals To World War II Sailor

Patch: Langevin Presents Medals To World War II Sailor

COVENTRY, RI — Cong. Jim Langevin (D-RI) on Friday presented military decorations to retired Chief Petty Officer Edmund Del Barone. The Coventry resident earned the medals over the 22 years he served in the U.S. Navy. According to Langevin’s office, “Del Barone began his service in 1940 when he attended boot camp at Naval Station Newport. The majority of his naval career was spent at sea conducting maintenance, and he was stationed on several ships, including the destroyer USS Wadleigh. Also a talented artist, Mr. Del Barone has painted emblems for naval ships and murals for several Veterans of Foreign Wars posts.”

Langevin said the medals show Del Barone’s “dedication to our nation and the principles for which it stands.”

The presentation at the Alpine Nursing Home in Coventry was also attended by Rhode Island Veterans Affairs Director Kasim Yarn, and Del Barone’s granddaughter, Kim.

The decorations presented include the Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze star; Navy Good Conduct Medal (5th Award); American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one silver star and two bronze stars; Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star; and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal – Lebanon.