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Veterans Coffee House
January 16 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 pm
SPEAKER: Tom Pandolfi
Topic: Flying Tigers Presentation
The Chamber of Commerce, Windham Region, in partnership with the Salvation Army, TVCCA and RSVP, will be hosting a weekly Veterans’ Coffee House on Wednesdays at 9 am at the Salvation Army, 316 Pleasant Street, Willimantic. The coffeehouse provides a comfortable and supportive location for veterans of any age to meet, socialize, communicate and provide and discuss information regarding veteran benefits and services through federal and state agencies and programs. It is an opportunity for Veterans to meet and talk to each other. Free for anyone to attend, refreshments provided, handicap accessible. For more information please call the Chamber at 860-423-6389 or email email@example.com.
Born and raised in Coney Island section of Brooklyn, NY. Started college at the Univ. of Bridgeport in 1958 and majored in Physical Education. After student teaching in Wilton, CT, Tom decided teaching was not in his future and enlisted in the CT National Guard. After basic training, he switched over to Regular Army (RA) and had the opportunity to become one of the original advisors (Green Berets). Shipped out in 1961 and served in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam living with different tribes in the jungles for 27 months (2+ tours). While in Thailand, he met farmers who helped Gen Claire Chennault build airfields for the “American Volunteer Group” (AVG), later to be known as the “Flying Tigers”. After returning home, his interest in the “Flying Tigers” was renewed and he starting collecting memorabilia and building airplane models. He amassed a very large collection and has been to China twice courtesy of the Chinese Government as the “Flying Tigers” are still considered national heroes for helping China defeat the Japanese. He lives in Woodstock, CT with his wife and is a retired flight manager from FedEx and has 4 children, 7 grandchildren and his youngest son was a highly decorated Army Ranger who did three tours in Iraq.