Leo Connelly leads district for disabled veterans


By William K. Alcorn

alcorn@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

Boardman Vietnam War veteran Leo H. Connelly Jr. was recently appointed commander of Department of Ohio Disabled American Veterans District 7.

Connelly, appointed by DAV state commander Phillip Alexander and state senior vice commander John Parker, said he is “very honored” to be appointed. He took office June 23.

His responsibility as District 7 commander is to oversee eight chapters in Ohio, including Youngstown Chapter 2, of which Connelly was commander in 2014-2015, Alliance Chapter 50 and Salem Chapter 122.

In a letter sent to all District 7 chapter commanders, Connelly said, “It is an honor to serve you.”

Connelly served as an Army infantry foot soldier for six months and six months as an attack helicopter door gunner in the Vietnam War in 1967 and 1968.

Among his decorations are the Combat Infantry Badge; wings Marksman Medal combat award; nine Air Medals, all with “V” Device for Valor; and three Army Commendation Medals, all with “ V “ Device for Valor.

Connelly was inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame for valor and was the Mahoning County United Veterans Council’s Veteran of the Year, both in 2011. He was the Second Brigade Motorcycle Club of Ohio Honoree of the Year in 2012 and is a past member of the Mahoning County Veteran Services Commission.

As District 7 commander, Connelly said his goals are to recruit new members, educate veterans coming home about their benefits, get more involved in DAV activities, work hard toward keeping the DAV the best organization in the country, and make himself available to the membership.

In addition to be being sworn in as District 7 commander, Connelly was named 2016 District 7 Veteran of the Year and the No. 1 Blue Hat of 2015 in District 7, a symbol of accomplishment, and Youngstown Chapter 2 was named District 7 Outstanding Chapter for 2015-2016.

Both recognitions are primarily for putting together a food program in Mahoning County that, in partnership with the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, fed 6,000 veterans a month for more than a year. Connelly organized a golf outing to raise money for the program.

Connelly and his wife, Doreen, have two sons, Art and Anthony, and a granddaughter, Tiffany Connelly, and a grandson, Michael Connelly.

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