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Home : News
NEWS | Feb. 26, 2024

12 Connecticut Veterans inducted into state hall of fame

By Timothy Koster

Twelve Connecticut veterans were enshrined in the state’s veteran’s hall of fame as part of the class of 2023 during a ceremony at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Rocky Hill, Jan. 25, 2024.

The Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame was established to increase the awareness of the lifetime contributions of veterans after their completion of honorable military service. The founding class was inducted in 2005.

The class of 2023 includes:

John Michael Chan, Air Force
John Michael Chan was born on August 24, 1948. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1968 after graduating high school. Following basic training, he attended technical school at Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois, receiving his certificate as a Flight Simulator Specialist. Following tech school, John was assigned to the 6200 Air Wing, Clark Air Base, the Philippines, serving as an instructor on instrument flying, emergency procedures, and tactics in the F-100, F-4 and C-130 aircraft. John was also responsible for teaching pilots bombing tactics using Air to Ground Missiles. In 1971, he became a crew chief on the C-130, flying missions into Vietnam from Clark Air Base. In 1972, he returned to United States where he instructed pilots on the A-7 aircraft. In 1974, John had earned enough college credits to compete for the highly competitive Airmen’s Education and Commission Program (AECP) and was accepted. He was to attend Louisiana Tech University, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management. Upon graduation from Officer Training School in 1976, John returned to Chanute Air Force Base to serve as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer. John’s stateside assignments as a maintenance officer included Luke AFB, AZ, Pease AFB, NH.

His overseas assignments included Royal Air Force Base Richmond, Sydney, Australia and Taegu Air Base, South Korea. He served as a maintenance officer for the F-15, F-16, C-141, F-4, and F-86. John also completed a n assignment as a munitions officer at NATO Italian Ghedi Air Base. John retired from the United States Air Force as a Captain in 1988 following a serious injury sustained in an aircraft accident.

Upon retiring, he accepted a position as Integrated Logistics Systems Manager at Kaman Aerospace in Bloomfield. He moved to Avon, CT where he has resided since then. John is a life member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and member of The American Legion. He has developed many historical and educational programs to preserve the memorial of the sacrifices of those who fought or lost their lives in the defense of our freedom. John has devoted his life to helping those in need, and mostly for fellow Veterans and their families. For the last six years, he has refurbished Durable Medical Equipment to donate to needy Veterans, through his “Heroes on Wheels” program. His program has helped thousands of Veterans throughout Connecticut with manual and motorized wheelchairs, wheelchair ramps, motorized scooters, hospital beds, oxygen concentrators, walkers, etc. These gifts have helped restore the mobility and quality of life for those that John has had the privilege to help.

Michael John Dalton, Army
Michael J. Dalton was drafted into the United States Army at the age of 18 and served for three years, including a one-year tour in Vietnam. Michael had the option of returning to Ireland and not serving, he made the decision to not leave and enlisted. Michael’s unselfish decision led him to experience twelve months of continuous life-threatening combat leadership assignments, functions, and roles including service on the Ho Chi Minh convoys and during the Tet Offensive Battle of Hue. Michael was discharged from the Army with the rank of Specialist Five.

Michael is a lifelong resident of Waterbury. He is a citizen with exemplary moral character beyond reproach and an unwavering commitment to country, state, and city. He has spent most of his adult life as an advocate for the Veteran community. His advocacy for Veterans over the years has entailed several leadership roles including Originator/Director of the Veterans Headstone/Tombstone Restoration Project honoring all deceased servicemembers, and the Veterans Affairs Contact Person for the City of Waterbury, managing communication with Veterans, their families, caregivers, survivors, supporting entities, and the public. Additionally, Michael is a member of the Army Historical Foundation, which fundraises to educate future Americans to fully appreciate the sacrifices that generations of American Soldiers have made to safeguard the freedoms of this nation, and the Wounded Warrior Project, which offers a variety of no-cost programs, services, and events for wounded Veterans and Veteran families. Michael is a subscribing Life Member of the NAACP Greater Waterbury Adult Branch. Mr. Dalton is an avid supporter of Paralyzed Veterans of America, an organization that empowers our disabled heroes to live more independent and fulfilling lives. He is a member of Vietnam Veterans of America, which promotes and supports the full range of issues important to Vietnam Veterans, including the creation of a new identity for our current generation of Veterans. Michael’s role as a community activist is rooted in volunteerism and dedicated to making a better world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. He is a Salvation Army volunteer and oversees the collection and distribution of donated items for homeless Veterans. Mr. Dalton is the Chairperson/Co-Founder of Mayor O’Leary’s Kids Marathon Program and sits on the Board of Directors for New England Mentorship Corporation. As a committed public servant, Michael served as Waterbury’s City Clerk for nine (9) consecutive 2-Year Terms.

Richard Guido DiFederico Jr., Navy
Richard G. DiFederico Jr. enlisted in the United States Navy in 1981 following his graduation from Watertown High school. In 1983, while assigned to the U.S. Multi-National Force- Beirut he was involved in the Marine Barracks bombing. (USMNF) in Beirut (Bombing), Lebanon. He was also involved in United States’ operations in Nicaragua in 1988 and served in Honduras.

After his Navy service, Richard returned to his hometown where he met and married his wife and raised two children. Richard was elected to the local Town Council and served several terms making the community a better place for all. Mr. DiFederico is a member of VFW Post 7330 in Oakville, serving in several positions including Post Commander. Mr. DiFederico is a three-time VFW State Commander, the first and only person to do so. Richard has been a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars for over 30 years. Since 2000, he has been a National Disabled American Veterans Service Officer and Veterans of Foreign Wars Service Officer. He continues to serve as Watertown’s Municipal Veteran’s Representative, helping veterans and their families with benefits, resources, and questions. In 2005, he was given a plaque in honor of the number of veterans (7,330) he has assisted over the years. A grateful Veteran gave Richard the special license plate “VFW7330” to express gratitude for all that Mr. DiFederico does to support his fellow brother and sister Veterans. Richard was honored for his commitment to excellence in the community with a plaque on the Watertown High School Wall of Honor in 2021. He has served as the VFW Voice of Democracy/Patriot Pen Essay Contest Chairman for over 10 years.

Maurice Joseph Fradette, Navy
Maurice “Moe” Fradette has always welcomed opportunities to serve community and country. After graduating from Farmington High School, he attended the University of Connecticut where he served on the Student Senate and was President of his fraternity and the University’s Inter-Fraternity Council. After graduating in 1964, he followed the example of his older brothers who had served in the Army and Navy and entered the U.S. Navy and attended Officer Candidate School at Newport, RI. He received his commission in 1965 and completed Communications and Cryptography Systems training.

Moe’s initial assignment was to the USS Power (DD839). While aboard the Power, he served as Electronics Material Officer, CIC Officer, Navigator, and OOD Underway. In 1965, the Power served as part of the recovery team for Gemini 6 & 7. Power completed Mediterranean cruises in 1966 and 1967 serving with the 6th Fleet. Her 1966 deployment included transit of the Suez Canal and Red Sea to serve with Middle East Forces. In January 1968 he left the USS Power and returned to Connecticut as a Reservist and to this day still maintains communications with fellow shipmates.

In 1973, Moe married his wife Suzanne and they moved to West Hartford to raise their family before moving to Farmington in 2021. Moe’s professional career was in technology sales as a Global Account Manager for Nortel Networks, where he received multiple awards for sales achievements. As a member of St. Peter Claver Church, West Hartford, he served as Trustee for 15 years. In 1973, as a Veteran, a title he is very proud of, he joined the American Legion Hayes-Velhage Post 96 in West Hartford to assist in the support of the Vietnam Moving Wall’s visit to West Hartford. As an active member of Post 96 he has served multiple terms as Post Commander, Vice Commander, and currently serves as Post 96 Adjutant and editor of the Post’s newsletter. In 2011, he organized and headed a committee to plan and execute a weeklong tribute to over 600 WWII Veterans, “The Greatest Generation”, residing in West Hartford. The Memorial Day parade that year, in honor of the WWII Veterans, attracted one of the largest crowds in the history of the parade. In 2015, he met with the West Hartford Public Schools Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent to discuss a program to recognize high school seniors choosing to enter military service. The event was given full support by the West Hartford Public Schools and the initial Inductees Ceremony was held in 2016. The event, attended by the Inductees and their parents, provides an opportunity for Inductees to be recognized for their commitment to serve. The Military Inductees Ceremony is held annually on the Tuesday following Memorial Day and over 175 graduates have been formally recognized. When Hayes-Velhage Post 96 celebrated its Centennial in 2022, he helped plan the Post’s Centennial promotions and Centennial Banquet.

Michael Salvatore Gozzo, Marines
Michael “Mike” Gozzo is a 1979 Graduate of Bassick High School in Bridgeport. During high school he participated in the Boy Scouts of America and later became a cubmaster within the organization. He joined the cross country and track teams, which he used as a springboard to prepare for the Marine Corps. Mike enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1979 and completed recruit training at San Diego, CA.

Mike’s first duty location was Camp Lejeune, North Carolina as a legal clerk followed by assignments in Okinawa, Japan, Quantico, Virgina, and back to San Diego, CA for Recruiting school. Mike served as a recruiter in Hartford, CT from 1984-1988. He returned to Quantico and completed Advance Combat training in 1990, followed by a a tour of duty in support of Operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm. Following his service in Desert Shield/Desert Storm, now SSgt Gozzo Mike returned to Camp Lejune, serving with Marine Corps Security Forces Battalion. Norfolk, VA.

Gunnery Sergeant Gozzo retired in January 2000. His personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Kuwait Liberation Medal (SA), Kuwait Liberation Medal (KU), and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Mike graduated from Park College (Parkville, MO) (BS- Management), and Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA) (MS- Education) while in the Marine Corps. He later earned a second master’s degree (History) from Southern Connecticut State University.

Mike started his career as an educator following his retirement, becoming a substitute and later a full-time teacher in Virginia. Mike taught in the Norfolk and Hampton public schools until June 2006 when he accepted a position with the Derby Public Schools, currently serving as an 8th grade social studies teacher.

Mike was a central figure in constructing the middle school cross country and track programs. In addition, for the past 14 years, he volunteers his winters as an advisor for the Derby Middle School Running Club and summers with the Derby Parks and Recreation Running Club. In 2015 he helped establish the Bella Vita Foundation. The foundation awards an annual scholarship to worthy Derby High School graduate to help navigate their future. Mike was selected as the 2018 Teacher of the Year for Derby Public Schools and is dedicated to supporting his students academically and athletically.

Richard Thomas Christopher LeFave, Army
Richard “Dick” LeFave was born in Everett, Massachusetts on December 9, 1951. He graduated and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Medical Service Corps from Boston University.

During Dick’s active military service, he was deployed for Operation New Life, supporting the evacuation of refugees from Vietnam. He was assigned as the Executive Officer of a combat medical company in Korea. His final Army assignment on active duty was as a Company Commander in the 9th Medical Battalion, 9th Infantry Division. Dick left active duty in 1978 and served in the Army National Guard in both Washington and Massachusetts, achieving the rank of Major. His awards include Meritorious Service Medal (2), the Army Commendation Medal (2), the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Korean Service Defense Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Expert Field Medical Badge. He is a recipient of the Connecticut Wartime Service Medal.

Dick left active military duty in 1978, taking a position with the Boeing Company in Seattle, WA. He returned to New England and settled in Massachusetts where he held various leadership positions in technology, including as the Chief Information Officer with Southern New England Telephone, and Nextel/Sprint Telecommunications. He is a board member of Amdocs Computer Corporation, a Fortune 500 technology provider. Dick runs his own technology consulting firm, D+L Partners, LLC which provides consulting services to global companies.

Dick attended the Harvard Business School, Advanced Management Program in 2003. Dick is a published author on technology, management, and photography.

After a stay in Guilford, the LeFave’s chose to relocate to Voluntown, Connecticut to an old farm where he and his family have resided since. He married Linda Greenlaw in 1973 and has shared his journey with her as a true-life partner. The family grew to include three talented children and 6 grandchildren of their own. The LeFave’s recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in September 2023. Dick and his family have provided volunteer support in Cambodia for 8 years where they engage in house construction and the opportunity to help and support an underprivileged population. He is dedicated to providing technology leadership and service to help the citizens of Connecticut and those disadvantaged in foreign countries. Giving forward has been a major tenant of his legacy.

Joseph Luca, Marines
Giuseppe (Joseph) “Joe” Luca was born in April 1946 to Natalina and Vincenzo Luca in the town of Mammola, province of Reggio Calabria, Italy. In 1959, his uncle and father applied for immigration, and Joe remembers begged with his father to allow him to apply as well. In 1960, Joe was on his way to America. Once in America, Joe attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel an Italian Catholic elementary school run by the Sisters of St. Lucy Filippini. After high school, he enrolled in the Part Institute of Hair Design. After graduation, he went to work in hair design.

In 1965, the Vietnam conflict was escalating, and Joe was drafted into the U.S. Marine Corps. Fighting in Vietnam was extremely difficult on a multitude of levels across all the services. Joe served in Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines. Joe was assigned as a runner and interpreter for several languages.

While on patrol with his fellow Marines, the lead elements of the patrol came under very heavy fire. Joe took charge of the defense of the patrol, moved across open terrain to gain a more favorable position, and assisted in the medical evacuation of the wounded. Joe was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions on March 5, 1967.

After receiving his third Purple Heart, he was sent to Okinawa as an instructor and from there he was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps.

Joe is an active member of numerous Veterans Service Organizations including the Marine Corps League, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He volunteers his time and energy to numerous community and civic organizations.

Joe would have never dreamed it possible that an Italian kid from the small town of Mammola in the Province of Reggio Calabria, Italy would be here standing amongst a group of highly distinguished men and women accepting such an honor. Joe says being admitted to the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame 2023 “is one of the most prestigious awards an Old Veteran Marine could be honored to accept. I am so proud to be an American and honored to have the opportunity to represent our Great Country, the United States of America. The Marine motto is “Semper Fi” which means “Always Faithful.” So, Semper Fi, God Bless, and Thank You so very much.

Daniel Bernard Reilly, Air Force
Daniel Bernard Reilly is a resident of Torrington, Connecticut. He served over 24 years as an enlisted civil engineer in the 103d Civil Engineer Squadron. As a civil engineer, he served with distinction and a high level of professional competence, leadership, and enthusiasm. He was instrumental in the 103d Civil Engineer Squadron’s sustained record of excellence. He is a Veteran of deployments to numerous named operations around the world including Southern Watch, Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and Unified Response. Additionally, Dan served extensively in the National Guard Counter Narcotics Program, working tirelessly on both drug demand and supply reduction efforts. Dan retired from the U. S. Airforce and the Connecticut Air National Guard in May 2022.

Daniel B. Reilly is employed by AmeriTech Contracting as the Vice President of Business Development. His background in construction, plumbing, mechanical specialties, project management, and his industry experience as a general and operations manager for premier mechanical companies has allowed him to accomplish improved program delivery timelines and quality improvements with increased team efficiencies, resulting in millions of dollars of annual savings. His people-focused, collaborative approach is contagious while providing much-needed solutions to address the organization’s needs, objectives, and challenges. Daniel’s innovative business acumen led to his recognition and inclusion in Stanford’s Who’s Who of executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals.

In addition to serving on multiple national nonprofit boards of directors, Dan is the President of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS). EANGUS serves over 450,000 members of the National Guard and over 480,000 retiree Veterans. In his role as the EANGUS President, Dan advises senior DOD leaders and elected officials on the readiness, employment, quality of life, health care, and compensation on behalf of almost one million current and former enlisted servicemembers. He routinely provides expert testimony to various Congressional committees, including the Armed Forces and Appropriations Committee.

Dan holds an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Mechanical and Electrical Technology and a Professional Managers Certification from the Community College of the Air Force. Daniel is a graduate of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) Program at the University of Connecticut’s School of Business. Dan serves as the chair for the leadership development Community of Interest (COI) for the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME).

He attributes his drive for success solely to his four beautiful children, Aunchlee, Hunter, Aydan, and Bradley. His other passions are his extensive philanthropic work, nonprofit volunteerism, and altruistic manner of serving those who have served. Daniel is enthusiastic about the entrepreneurial spirit, assisting and collaborating with VSOBs and SDVOSBs.

William Ford Law Rodgers, Marines
William F.L. Rodgers was born and raised in Massachusetts and has resided in Connecticut since 1985. He has lived in Newtown since 1992. He graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, MA, then received his B.A. and A.M. degrees concurrently from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, followed by his J.D. from Boston University School of Law in Boston, MA. He is an attorney admitted to the CT, NY, and D.C. bars.

Colonel Rodgers joined the U.S. Marine Corps as a college sophomore and served tours of active duty in Quantico, VA, Newport, RI and Oceanside, CA. After his release from active duty, he returned to private practice in Connecticut and continued to serve as an active Marine Corps Reservist in military law billets in Washington D.C. In 2006, Colonel Rodgers volunteered to serve in Iraq and was deployed from August, 2006 to March 2007, serving as a Liaison Officer between the Marine Corps and the United States Agency for International Development. He was awarded the Bronze Star at the completion of his tour. His final tour after return home was as an Appellate Military Judge for the Navy- Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. He retired in 2009 after 30 years of service.

Colonel Rodgers has been active in local politics, serving as both the Chair of Newtown’s Legislative Council for six years and on its Board of Selectmen for eight years. After the Sandy Hook shooting, he helped create and run the largest charity to emerge, the Sandy Hook Community Foundation. On the State level, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, advising the Commissioner of Veteran Affairs. Colonel Rodgers is married to Moira Buckley Rodgers, also an attorney and former Probate Judge. They have a married daughter, Amelia, an attorney in CA, and two granddaughters.

Lorenzo Anthony Santamaria, Marines
Lorenzo “Larry” Santamaria enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1968, served thirteen months of combat in Vietnam with the 1st Marine Division, and was awarded the Purple Heart.

Larry lives his life in service to others. His actions are driven by a selfless sense of duty for his community and a genuine concern for others. His long record of service to his fellow Veterans is extensive and noteworthy. Our ability to describe his accomplishments is severely limited by space.

He joined the Edward A. Norton VFW Post #7666 in 1971 and has served as its Commander since 1979. He has organized the Memorial Day Parade each year since 1979, along with ceremonies and services for Veteran’s Day, Pearl Harbor Day, 9/11 and other Veteran-specific events. During the ‘80s and ‘90s Larry initiated and helped to coordinate color guard services for funerals and ceremonies throughout the state as needed. In 1991, Larry was instrumental in reviving the American Legion Post #48 in Guilford. Larry is a member of the American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Marine Corps League, and the DAV.

Larry has worked on many community projects, including activities for the elderly, youth groups, and scout troops. Services include assisting, collecting, and distributing food with the Guilford Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Baskets Committee (1985 – 2022).

As the kitchen chef for the Town of Guilford, he provided 40,000 meals annually, working on weekends and holidays, for the Interfaith Volunteers Meals on Wheels program and the Seniors Lunch Program, including evening senior events, dances, and movie nights. Under the fundraiser auspices of the Guilford Interfaith Ministry and Chef Larry, the Guilford Veterans Day Lasagna Dinner has annually welcomed Veterans for almost 20 years, for a complimentary dinner that raises money from all 200 paid participants. Larry is also the chef for the Guilford Rotary’s yearly Frosty 5K on New Year’s Day.

In recognition of his service to others, he has been awarded several honors, including the Guilford Rotary’s highest honor, the Paul Harris Award, and the Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year Award. He was honored for his volunteer work for the town of Guilford with a proclamation from the Town naming “Larry Santamaria Day” and was recently presented with the Guilford Employee Recognition Award. Larry believes that serving others makes for a better community. Larry’s commitment to serving others has been well established in Guilford and throughout the state. Unquestionably, his service to others has impacted many lives.

Charles Ferdinand Smith, Air Force
Charles “Charlie” Smith grew up in Hamden and graduated from The Gunnery School in 1957 with 6 varsity letters. He continued his education at Franklin and Marshall College, graduating in 1961 with a B.A. in Sociology. There, he kept himself busy with Air Force ROTC, tennis, club hockey, and Chi Phi Fraternity.

Charlie was commissioned a Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. While in the Air Force he served as the Administrative Officer, in charge of a 7-bed dispensary in southern Italy. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain in 1966. Upon discharge, he remained on active reserve for a year, then inactive reserve until 1972.

The spirit of service has been a guiding light for Charlie since his days in the Air Force. Soon after moving to Killingworth, he helped form the Killingworth Ambulance Association and served as an EMT and CPR Instructor, a founding Board member, first President, and member on the Building Fund Committee. He assisted in the establishment of the Killingworth Chamber of Commerce. As a charter member of the Killingworth Lions Club, Charlie served in numerous positions, including as its 3rd President. Since 1972, he has been equally committed to the Killingworth Congregational Church where he served 12 years as a Trustee and in numerous other positions.

After retirement, Charlie became increasingly involved in Veterans’ advocacy. He has served as the Chair for the Killingworth Memorial Day Committee since 2017. Charlie has been an integral member of The Community Soup Kitchen (CSK) in New Haven, working to feed approximately 250 people, 5 days a week. Charlie helped initiate and served as the Chair of the CSK walkathon for 12 years and has raised over $200,000.00 to date.

Fundraising is of keen interest to Charlie. In addition to his work with CSK, Charlie has helped raise over $1.1 million for the Killingworth Town Library, more than $440,000.00 for the Killingworth Congregational Church, and over $100,000.00 for the Gunnery Alumni Association’ Gunn Scholars Program.

Charlie was inducted into the Haddam- Killingworth Board of Education Hall of Fame after serving in multiple positions over 30 years, including as President.

The State of Connecticut and the Town of Killingworth have certainly become a better place because of Mr. Smith’s unending devotion to community service. His spirit of service is not just a notion, he has put his words into action from his time in Air Force ROTC to present day.

Peter Charles Tragni, Army
Peter Tragni joined the Connecticut Army National Guard in 1981 at the age of 17. He completed the basic combat medical specialist course and looked forward to a career in medical services. Fate deemed otherwise and Peter was chosen to attend airborne school as an R.O.T.C. cadet. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in Armored Cavalry at the age of 20 and took over as scout platoon leader in C Troop, 26 Cavalry, Connecticut Army National Guard. Peter soon transferred to the United States Army Reserve as a Civil Affairs Officer. When Desert Storm occurred, Peter was activated and commanded a Bradley Fighting Vehicle Scout Platoon in the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, and later retired as a captain. Peter was recently awarded The Order of Saint Maurice by The Infantry Association in recognition of his selfless dedication to soldiers mental health. Peter is very active in the 102nd Infantry Association, where he brings his collection of World War One military uniforms and equipment to displays and talks.

A career as a Danbury Police Officer started shortly after his service. As a Police Officer for 27 years, he taught D.A.R.E program and was a school resource officer, connecting with youth in positive ways. He became a trainer of Police Officers and School Resource Officers. As a Patrol Sergeant he helped train and guide new officers. Peter was a member of the Honor Guard, the critical incident stress debriefing team, and recruitment team. Peter was selected by the Department of State in 2004 to become an International Police Liaison Officer in Iraq, where he trained, evaluated, and mentored the new Iraqi Police Force.

Upon his retirement as a police officer, Peter went back to school and earned a double masters in clinical mental health and school counseling. He became a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and a middle school guidance counselor. Peter works for the Military Support Program, which embeds licensed therapists in Connecticut National Guard Units. He works as an integral part of the unit providing mental health services for soldiers and their families.

As a school counselor in Waterbury public schools, he brings a real-world approach to connecting with students who come from very difficult backgrounds. Peter is on the Western Connecticut Regional School Crisis Team, which deploys to schools when a major incident occurs such as the death of a student or faculty member to render counseling services. He is a life member of VFW Post 149 and is currently in a doctoral program in Educational Leadership, with the vision of taking his military and police leadership experience to train school leaders in crisis situations.