Non-Profit Veterans Service Organization Comes to Town this Saturday for Project Supported by Plainville Rotary Club
Plainville, Conn., June 4, 2018 – Had Robert Berube of Our Lady of Mercy Church had things his way, his lifelong career of service would have been in a military uniform, and not necessarily in the dress of a Catholic church deacon. “My hope was to serve my country in the Air Force for many years,” says the 74-year-old Plainville resident. “But God had a different plan for me.” Berube, indeed, did his military time in 1964 for several months before being honorably – and unexpectedly – discharged due to medical reasons, namely, a total loss of hearing in his left year. Frustrated that he could not fully realize his military service ambitions (“I fought that discharge tooth and nail,” he says), he turned instead to a life serving others both through the church and as a tireless community volunteer, notably as a commissioner for 12 years with the Plainville Veterans Council.
This Saturday Berube will be thanked for his life of service by House of Heroes Connecticut (HOHCT). With project sponsorship assistance from the Plainville Rotary Club HOHCT will descend upon Berube’s Eastwood Drive home, which he shares with his wife of 51 years and retired Plainville teacher Regina, to replace his home’s 60-plus year-old windows and tidy up his yard.
House of Heroes Connecticut recognizes, honors and serves military and public safety veterans and/or their surviving spouses for their sacrificial service to America. The organization’s goal is to “Make a Difference in a Day” through the provision of one-day, no-cost home improvements with a priority placed on safety and accessibility. The Connecticut Chapter has assisted 101 military and public safety veterans and/or their surviving spouses in 40 cities and towns across Connecticut, as well as in seven additional states, since its founding in 2012. The Berube project is HOHCT’s fifth in Plainville.
HOHCT will complete three Connecticut projects this Saturday. In addition to the Berube project, HOHCT will serve U.S. Army veteran Robert Gentle of Bristol and U.S. Air Force veteran Douglas Newman of Wallingford.
Berube was born in Fall River, Mass., in 1943. During his brief time in the military, his test scores were so high he qualified for Officer Candidate School and was slated to be trained in air traffic control before his sudden discharge. He and Regina made their way to Plainville in 1969 and immediately immersed themselves in the community and Our Lady of Mercy Church. Berube served on the church’s board of education when the church still managed a Catholic school.
A manufacturing industry executive for many years, the list of town commissions and community organizations and initiatives Berube has served over the years is long and includes Plainville’s Economic Development Commission, Inland Wetlands Commission, Housing Authority and Planning and Zoning Commission among others; the Plainville Chamber of Commerce United Way and Christmas Tree Dedication programs; the State Department of Veterans Affairs in West Haven and Rocky Hill (former chaplain); the Veterans Advisory Committees for former Congressman Chris Murphy and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty; and many more.
Berube has been a member of the Knights of Columbus for 50 years and is the only deacon to have been accepted by the Knights as a chaplain – all others are priests. Berube is chaplain with Knights of Columbus Our Lady of Mercy Council #3544 of Plainville. Saturday’s project at the Berube home begins at 8 a.m., with a flag presentation ceremony at 10 a.m. Volunteers on site will be from the Plainville Rotary Club and Knights of Columbus Council #3544.
For more information about House of Heroes Connecticut, to nominate a veteran, volunteer for a project or to make a donation in support of the organization’s mission, visit www.hohct.org.