William Petras III selected for the William J. Pomfret Veterans Community Service Award

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MIDDLETOWN – The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce has selected William F. “Skip” Petras III for its 2021 William J. Pomfret Veterans Community Service Award.

The honor is bestowed annually on a veteran of the United States Armed Forces in recognition of his distinguished service to the citizens of Connecticut and his selfless commitment to public service, according to a press release.

“Skip Petras is a proud veteran who has served our country with distinction,” Speaker of the House Larry McHugh said in a prepared statement. “He also has an outstanding record of community service and is a deserving recipient of this prestigious award.”


Petras is a Portland resident who grew up in Middletown, according to the Chamber. He graduated from Vinal Technical High School in 1978. Prior to graduation in May 1978, Skip enlisted in the US Navy under the Delayed Entry Program and began formal training in October of the same year.

He is a proud veteran of the United States Navy, United States Navy Reserves and Connecticut Army National Guard, having served from 1978 to 1988, the chamber added. Her active duty vessel was the USS Mullinnix DD 944 home port of Charleston, SC Petras’ role aboard the Mullinnix was as a sonar technician assigned to the Anti-Submarine Warfare Division, where he achieved the rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class, the press release said.

He was a member of the South Fire District Volunteers and, after moving to Portland, he joined the Portland Fire Department where, for 25 years, he served residents and guests of Portland and surrounding communities both as a volunteer firefighter and, until recently, as an EMT, the statement said.

He has volunteered his time in other volunteer services, using his skills as an EMT, including his more than 20 years as a volunteer with the medical staff of Special Olympics Connecticut at Polar Plunges and other events. related to Special Olympics Connecticut, the press release said.

A strong advocate for veterans affairs, Skip remains a member and is active with the VFW and the American Legion in Portland. He plays a key role in planning and delivering the American Legion Veterans Day breakfast in Portland, the statement said.

As the Patriot Guard Riders of the CT Assistant State Captain, he regularly attends meetings of the State Veterans Commissioners and the Veterans Steering Committee for Veterans Service Organizations at the Office of the Veterans Commissioner in Rocky Hill.

“Skip has dedicated his life to serving our country and the community, both in the military and as a civilian. He continues to selflessly give his all to veterans and the community at large,” McHugh said in the release. .

The award will be presented on November 1 at the 20th Annual Support the Troops and Honor the Veterans Breakfast at 8 a.m. on Zoom. All veterans are invited to the event as chamber guests, the statement said.

Registration is required on middlesexchamber.com.


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