Three Veterans Receive Wartime Service Medals at Mulberry Gardens

Print icon

Many people remember their 21st birthdays. However, few individuals celebrate like Marjorie McKennerney did on her 21st in 1944: she enlisted in the U.S. Navy. “We were all very patriotic at that time. We all wanted our country to win the war,” she said, explaining why she felt compelled to serve during World War II.

On May 22, in recognition of their patriotic service, she and two other U.S. Navy veterans were honored at the Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Ceremony held at Mulberry Gardens of Southington, 58 Mulberry St.

Other recipients were Edward Talan, also a Mulberry Gardens resident, as is McKennerney, and Kenneth Leslie, an Arbor Rose at Jerome Home resident. Each received a letter and certificate from Thomas Saadi, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs. “Thank you for your selfless service. The freedoms we enjoy today are a result of your sacrifice,” the letter read in part, referring to each individual as a “true American” and “Connecticut hero.”

Sherri Vogt, veterans liaison, Hartford HealthCare at Home, pinned the service medals on each honoree as Wayne Rioux, also a veterans liaison, read their bios detailing their accomplishments.

McKennerney was stationed in Washington, D.C. with the U.S. Navy’s Bureau of Ships where she performed secretarial work, a career she continued after her discharge.

Talan served in the Medical Corps with the U.S. Marines. After boot camp he did his advanced training at Portsmouth Hospital where he worked with medical staff during a malaria outbreak. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton in California and traveled to Hawaii and Japan. Upon discharge, this Hospital Apprentice First Class attended Quinnipiac College and American International College and taught social studies for 35 years in Waterbury.

Leslie, a Korean War veteran, served three years, one month and 11 days during which he was stationed on the Ice Breaker USS Edisto and Aircraft Carrier USS Tarawa, among other assignments. His duties included taking weather readings and sending them to headquarters, helping plot weather maps, and sending and tracing weather balloons. His rank was AGAN (Aerographer’s Mate Airman). Highlights of his military service were seeing the “Land of the Midnight Sun” while on the Edisto and visiting the South Atlantic on the Tarawa, he said.

Jacquelyn Gaulin, Mulberry Gardens executive director, recognized and thanked all veterans who were present. “Today and every day we are grateful for our military personnel and the families who supported them,” she said.

Mulberry Gardens of Southington, a not for profit assisted living, adult day and memory care community, is a member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services. For more information about Mulberry Gardens of Southington, visit

What's New

Palliative vs. Hospice Care

What’s the Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care?

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and the team from Hartford HealthCare at Home wants to help those in need of these services make the right decisions during what is a critical time for them and their loved ones. Hospice and palliative care offer compassionate care to patients...

How Age Can Affect How We Handle Stress

Stress is like taxes and death – one of life’s certainties — but as we age, the types of stress we face and our ability to handle it changes, and not always for the better. “Contributors to stress and anxiety vary with age,” says Peter Lucchio, a clinical psychologist who...

Your brain and aging

How Normal is Memory Decline as We Age?

Normal aging makes joints creak and skin sag. Inside the brain, cognition changes in similarly “predictable ways,” according to Dr. Amy Sanders, director of the Ayer Neuroscience Institute’s Memory Care Center in Wethersfield. Research has shown, she said, that the speed with which adults process new information or retrieve stored...

How To Talk To Someone Who Has Dementia

By Michelle Wyman, Dementia Specialist Hartford HealthCare Center for Healthy Aging How to communicate with people who have dementia: Always state their name before speaking. This attracts their attention. Maintain eye contact throughout the conversation. Avoid speaking from another room or from behind. They may have forgotten you were in...

Sepsis: A Minor Infection Becomes Deadly

Sepsis can kill anyone. Boxer Muhammad Ali, Pope John Paul II and Muppets creator Jim Henson are among the people who have died from complications related to sepsis, the body’s extreme reaction to infection that causes tissue damage, organ failure and, in these severe cases, death. Sepsis is often referred...