State Senator Michael McLachlan Honors Danbury Native for Service in World War II

July 28, 2009

Hartford, CT – State Senator Michael McLachlan (R-Danbury) today presented Danbury native Vito Simaleavich with service medals he earned but never received following an honorable discharge from the United States Navy in 1946. Senator McLachlan presented the service medals to Mr. Simaleavich at a special surprise ceremony with his family and friends at the Danbury VFW Post 149.

“Vito represents the very best of what America has to offer,” said Senator McLachlan. “At just 18 years old, and when his country needed him most, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943. He answered the call to serve and did so while demonstrating tremendous courage and conviction. In fact, while on the U.S.S. South Dakota, Vito participated in some of the most violent sea battles of the war and his ship was one of the first to enter Tokyo Harbor following the Japanese surrender.”

Senator McLachlan presented Mr. Simaleavich with the following service medals:

– World War II Victory Medal
– American Campaign Medal
– Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal
– Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia Clasp
– Combat Action Ribbon
– Honorable Service Lapel Pin (Ruptured Duck)
– Discharge Button
– Phillipine Defense Ribbon with 2 bronze stars
– Phillipine Presidential Unit Citation
– United States Navy Emblem

In addition to these service medals, Senator McLachlan presented Mr. Simaleavich with a special citation from his office.

“It is an honor for me to present Vito with his well-deserved service medals as well as a citation from my office as a formal token of my respect and appreciation for his service to our country,” said Senator McLachlan. “I believe Vito and all of our men and women in uniform deserve our continued recognition and admiration and I hope that his story of service is an inspiration to future generations here in the 24th District.”