Arthur Melycher named Veteran of the Month by Senator Witkos [Register Citizen]

December 4, 2014

Register Citizen

WINSTED >> December’s “Veteran of the Month” is a familiar face. Arthur Melycher, Winsted resident and current Planning and Zoning Commission member, received the honor from state Sen. Kevin Witkos, R-8, for not only his 22 years of military service, but also for his tireless efforts with the American Legion and the local veteran community.

“Arthur is such a selfless and strong role model for us all,” Witkos said in a release. “He dedicated his entire life to military service and protecting our great nation and the veterans who have fought for our freedoms.”

Melycher, a Danbury native, served in the U.S. Navy from 1967 to 1989 in seven different naval units. Prior to this, Melycher studied to become a machinist at Henry Abbott Technical High School in Danbury. The fresh-faced graduate enlisted right out of high school, in the midst of the Vietnam War.

Next up for Melycher was boot camp in Great Lakes, Ill., and following that, his first assignment. For nine months, Melycher made flights from a naval air station in Maryland to Vietnam making deliveries for soldiers as part of an aviation squadron. He’d later serve on several different destroyer ships, escorting squadrons across the Atlantic Ocean.

Melycher continued his service following the conclusion of the Vietnam War. He worked with POWs and helped recruit new soldiers, especially for the medical field. Just a year after his retirement in 1989, Melycher joined the American Legion Post. He is a commander with Post 43 Tuttle-Burns to this day.

“Not only has he sacrificed,” Witkos said in the release, “but he has also given back so fully and completely. He has saved lives and he has touched lives.”

The retired Chief Petty Officer also volunteers with the Soldiers and Sailors Marine Fund, aiding military families who need temporary living assistance. Melycher also is active in the community outside of his military work, serving as chairman of the Commission for Persons with Disabilities and as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Melycher told Witkos that the highlight of his career has been helping other veterans, the release states.

“Military makes a person grow up fast,” Melycher said in the release. “It gives you good life experiences.”

Melycher is highly decorated, having received the Good Conduct Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy & Marine Corps Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. He has been decorated for his pistol and rifle expertise as well.

The full video interview with Witkos can be found online at on the main page or via the “newsroom” tab. Witkos has been honoring local veterans and conducting video interviews dating back to at least Oct. 2013.

To nominate a local veteran to be a “Veteran of the Month,” contact Peggy Tibbals at [email protected] or call 860-240-8884.

The 8th District is comprised of the towns of Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby, Hartland, Harwinton, New Hartford, Norfolk Simsbury and Torrington.