Veteran of the Year 2019 – Major Denzil Drewry

Denny grew up in a time when the Military was well respected. In fact when Denny was born in Eastport, Maine, his father was participating in the invasion of Okinawa in the Pacific. His father was proud of his service and was a Disable Veteran. Three of Denzil’s uncles’ also served in WWII, including one who was wounded during the Normandy Landing. This family history combined with affection for war and cowboy movies (especially Audie Murphy) greatly influenced his desire to serve.

After 2 years of College (1 year of ROTC), Denny volunteered to enlist into the US Army in 1966. During Basic Training (Fort Bragg, NC) he requested Advance Infantry Training (Fort Ord, CA), and followed up with Infantry Officer School and Airborne (paratrooper) training (Fort Benning, GA)

After receiving his commission as an Infantry 2nd Lieutenant, he was selected to train for one more year. That resulted in the right to wear the “Green Beret” (Fort Bragg, NC) and his assignment for Special Forces Intelligence training.

Denny then chose to volunteer to serve in Vietnam. He served on a Special Forces A-Team near Laos and North Vietnam. There were only ten Special Forces members on the team supplemented by up to 300 Vietnamese trained by the Special Forces. Denny led Recon teams of 6-8 men and when contact we anticipated the Company size was 100-125 men.

Awards:
Bronze Star (Valor)
Purple Heart
CIB (Combat Infantry Badge)
Vietnam Jump Wings
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Expert Badge Pistol, Auto Rifle, Machine Gun, Sharpshooter Badge w/Rifle

After his discharge, Denny joined civilian life by resuming his education at UMass Amherst and reconnecting with Lorraine whom he married in 1971. He was first employed by Pfizer, but switched over to a long successful career in the insurance industry, retiring as VP of National Sales for State Mutual. Denny and Rainee moved to Westborough in 1977 and with two children, Scott and Jamie, quickly became involved in the community. In addition to coaching Little League baseball and Youth Basketball, being heavily involved in the VFW and American Legion, Denny joined the town’s Personnel Board. He served the community by serving six terms on the Board of Selectmen, was a member of the Rotary Club, worked on multiple Memorial committees that were responsible for the Vietnam Memorial and the War on Terrorism Memorial and did a hitch as President of Chapter 54 of Massachusetts Special Forces Association. Top of mind was always Veterans and their families.

Watch the Ceremony Here!

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