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07/15/2015

Lt. Gov. Wyman, Commissioner Connolly Honor Forgotten Veterans

 (HARTFORD, CT) -Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, Department of Veterans' Affairs Commissioner Sean Connolly, Naval Submarine Base Groton Commanding Officer Captain Carl Lahti, and state officials today honored four Connecticut veterans-two soldiers and two sailors-whose remains were located and identified by the Missing in America Project. Howard E. Daniels of Essex, Joseph P. Trantino of West Hartford, William C. Buell of Madison, and David S. Kendle of Clinton were posthumously awarded the Connecticut Veteran Wartime Service Medal before being interred at the State Veterans Cemetery in Middletown.

Lt. Governor Wyman said, "Today we reflect on the lives and sacrifices of four honorable men who leave a great legacy of service to Connecticut and the nation. Men who fought astounding inhumanity in World War II, who bravely served in Korea and Vietnam, who lived their lives committed to building and sustaining this great nation.  They were true heroes and are now laid to rest among their brothers and sisters. I am grateful to the Missing in America Project for their devotion to the nation's veterans."

Commissioner Connolly said, "This ceremony is an example of how we shall never leave a fallen comrade-and that no veteran, in life or in death, shall be forgotten."

Captain Lahti said, "I am honored that on behalf of the Navy in Southeastern Connecticut I could join Lt. Governor Wyman and Commissioner Connolly in paying respect to these noble veterans of our Armed Forces. Some might say how sad it is that these four heroes had no family or loved ones who could have tended to their final wishes. I beg to differ. They have us. And I trust, as soldiers and sailors who once served our great nation, they knew that we, citizens and service members alike, would be here for them in the end."

The event was coordinated by the Missing in America Project, a nonprofit organization that locates, identifies, and ensures interment for unclaimed remains of American veterans. 

Missing in America Project Massachusetts state coordinator Tim Tapply said, "The Missing in America Project exists solely to locate service member remains and ensure they are given the dignity and respect of a military burial.  Wherever they have gone in life, at one point long ago they made a decision to serve, a decision to sacrifice.  We, in turn, have a duty to honor those decisions through ensuring they shall rest with honor and in peace.  Today we honor Joseph, William, Howard, and David."

Today's ceremony honored:

U.S. Army Sergeant Howard E. Daniels served in World War II as an Antitank Gun Crewman with a tank destroyer battalion. He was awarded the European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal, and the American Theater Campaign Ribbon.  Sgt. Daniels was born in Essex, Connecticut, on October 15, 1923, was discharged from the Army in 1946, and passed away in 2011 in Old Saybrook.

U.S. Army Master Sergeant Joseph P. Trantino served in the pacific in World War II as an Infantryman in Company B, 6th Ranger Battalion. Master Sgt. Trantino was awarded the Silver Star Medal, the third-highest military combat decoration, as well as the Bronze Star Medal, three Purple Heart Medals, Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon, Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, and the American Theater Campaign Ribbon. He was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, on December 21, 1924, honorably discharged in 1946, and passed away in 2004 in New Haven.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class William C. Buell served in Korea and Vietnam as a Photographer's Mate Cameraman and was awarded the National Defense Ribbon for his service.  He was born in Madison, Connecticut, on January 20, 1934, honorably discharged in 1974, and passed away in 2003.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class David S. Kendle served as an Electrician's Mate in Vietnam on the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine the U.S.S. Patrick. He was awarded the National Defense Ribbon.  He was born on May 27, 1940, honorably discharged in 1968, and passed away in 2002 in Clinton.

The Connecticut State Veterans Cemetery ceremony followed a service hosted by the Swan Funeral Home in Old Saybrook, a partner of the Missing in America Project.

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Juliet Manalan
Communications Director
Office of Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman
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(m) 860.913.7528

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