By Debbie Adams
The Town of Vinton honored its employees who have served or are serving in the military with a Veterans Breakfast on November 9 at the Vinton War Memorial.
Town employees who have served in the armed services include Chief of Police Fabricio Drumond, Public Works employees Kevin Orange, Jimmy Brown, and James Thompson, Police Cpls. Brandon Alterio and Silas Chapman, and Mayor Brad Grose.
Police Cpl. Brandon Alterio served in the US Air Force from 2008-2014 and reached the rank of staff sergeant. He joined the Vinton Police Department in March 2019.
Jimmy Brown served stateside in the Marine Corps for three years. He has worked in the Town of Vinton Public Works Department since November 2, 2020, and holds the position of chief mechanic.
Police Cpl. Silas Chapman served from 1997 to 2008 in the U.S. Army infantry with the rank of staff sergeant, E-6. He was stationed in Germany, the Middle East, Fort Benning, Ga., Texas and California. He has been with the Vinton Police Department for 12 years.
Police Chief Drumond served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2002 to 2006. He earned the rank of sergeant, E-5, and was stationed in Camp Lejeune, N.C. He was deployed to Africa, Cuba, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He was trained as an assaultman. He has been employed by the Town of Vinton since 2009 and was appointed chief of police in December 2020.
Mayor Brad Grose served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1968 during the Vietnam era, stationed in Korea, achieving the rank of sergeant, E-5. He worked as an electronics technician and in tech/supply. Mayor Grose was elected to Vinton Town Council in 2000 and has served the town as mayor since 2004.
Kevin Orange served in the U.S. Army from 1982 through 1986 with the rank of E-4. He was in light infantry and stationed in Georgia and Kentucky. He has worked in the Vinton Public Works Department for 16 years, now as wastewater operator 3.
James Thompson has been a member of the Army National Guard for one year and three months. He has worked for the Town of Vinton in the Public Works Department since September 1, 2021, as an equipment operator 1.
After the meal, Mayor Grose thanked all the veterans for their service. They then shared their thoughts on some of their experiences in the military.
Mayor Grose said he was grateful for the opportunity to serve in the military and enjoyed his time in the Army. He received training which he “could not have gotten anywhere else.”
Cpl. Alterio said his seven years in the Air Force were the “greatest experience of my life.” He chose the Air Force for its benefits which allowed him to earn his associate degree and further his education. His Air Force training has allowed him to support his family and he is “thankful for that time.”
Cpl. Chapman said his enlistment in the Army allowed him “to see the world and meet great people who formed a brotherhood.” His military career led to his law enforcement career.
Chief Drumond said he had wanted to be a Marine his entire life. From another country, he and his family were grateful to the United States for what it had given to them. He planned to make it a career until he realized the toll the dangers he faced were taking on his parents. He said difficult conditions in the field led him to appreciate the finer things in life like hot water and clean clothes. His military days led him to his career in “policing,” where his heart truly lies.
The breakfast for veterans was organized by Vinton’s Director of Community Programs Chasity Barbour, Director of Human Resources and Risk Management Donna Collins, and Community Programs Coordinator Amanda Payne.
The Town of Vinton has also observed Veterans Day 2021 by sending cards to dozens of veterans throughout the region in lieu of the traditional veterans festivities at the War Memorial.