Special to the Reformer

Brattleboro >> American Legion Post No. 5 will celebrate Memorial Day this year with a convocation at Brattleboro Union High School on Friday, May 27, at 9 a.m. and the traditional Memorial Day event at the Brattleboro Common on Memorial Day, May 30, at 11 a.m.

The convocation at the high school is designed to honor the 11 Brattleboro area Vietnam Veterans who died in Vietnam and who were honored on November 21, 2015, at the recognition dinner at Post No. 5. The families of the Vietnam Veterans have been invited to the convocation where they will also be honored. The students who participated in the November dinner will be recognized.

The convocation will include the participation by the Marine Corps League Color Guard. The public is cordially invited.

Stetson Blake, brother of John Blake, who was a graduate of Saint Michael's High School class of 1963 and who died on March 21, 1970, in Vietnam, will present the American flag which was given to him at the time of the burial of his brother in Brattleboro. That flag will be raised at the high school.

The keynote speaker for this event is Attorney Thomas Costello, a member of the American Legion.

The Memorial Day ceremonies at the Brattleboro Common will follow the visitation by the Military Societies to the graveyards in Brattleboro during the morning of May 30, and will include the formal ceremonies at 11 a.m. on the Brattleboro Common honoring Brattleboro's fallen. Richard Hodgden, a member of the American Legion and Commandment of the Marine Corps League will be Masters of Ceremonies.


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The principal address at the ceremony will be given by two extraordinary women: Lieutenant Colonel Laura Caputo and Ms. Breanna Sheehan.

Lt. Colonel Caputo has 23 years of service in the Air Force and presently serves in the Vermont Air National Guard. She was commissioned as an officer in 1992 after graduating from the University of Illinois. She thereafter attended Air Force pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. Lt. Colonel Caputo spent the next 15 years flying T-37, KC-10 and C-21 aircraft in support of multiple operations throughout the Middle East and Europe. In 2008 Caputo re-trained into a new career as an intelligence officer. She currently serves as the senior intelligent officer for the 158th Operations Support Squadron.

Ms. Breanna Sheehan was a principal in the 2015 Memorial Day event honoring the Brattleboro Civil War dead as well as in the November 2015 recognition dinner for Vietnam KIAs. Miss Sheehan is an exemplary student and athlete at Brattleboro Union High School and has been accepted at Dartmouth College where she will be attending in the Fall.

The American Legion Band will perform at the ceremony and representatives of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Marine Corps League will participate.