Fairfield Legislative Delegation Honors Vietnam Veteran

May 4, 2015

FAIRFIELD — Surrounded by his friends and fellow Fairfield law enforcement officers, Francis Craig Ervin got a long overdue “thank you” on April 30.

The Fairfield legislative delegation — state Sen. Tony Hwang and state Reps. Brenda Kupchick, Laura Devlin, and Cristin McCarthy Vahey — presented the Vietnam veteran with a citation from the Connecticut General Assembly expressing their deepest appreciation for his service to our country and community, 50 years removed from the start of the war.

Mr. Ervin, of Fairfield, served as a Corporal in the U.S. Marines during the Vietnam War, as a member of K Company 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment. The Indiana native settled in Fairfield after returning home and joined the Fairfield Police Department, where he worked for 27 years. Mr. Ervin went on to join the Fairfield University Department of Public Safety, and became involved in their support of Special Olympics of Connecticut.

Friends and former colleagues from Fairfield University and FPD, including Police Chief Gary MacNamara, joined the delegation Thursday at South Benson Marina — where Mr. Ervin was stationed for several years — to surprise him with the citation. The idea to honor Mr. Ervin came from one of his best friends, retired Fairfield Police Chief Dave Peck.

“Over the past 36 years I have come to learn how much Craig’s Vietnam combat experience has defined his life,” Peck said. “Craig has shared stories with me and we have visited museums and memorials together that have made me really appreciate what our Vietnam veterans had to endure during the Vietnam war and how unappreciated they were when they returned home.”

“As someone who never served in the military, I have the utmost respect for Craig and all of our service men and women who served and continue to serve our country. I have had the honor and pleasure of working with many military veterans over the years but to recognize one of my best friends is really special. It was so nice of Senator Tony Hwang and the rest of the Fairfield legislative delegation to do this for Craig knowing how much it will mean to him,” Peck added.

A humble man, Mr. Ervin was overwhelmed with appreciation for the recognition, and insisted there are others just like himself that are equally deserving. “This means a lot,” he said.

“It truly was a privilege to honor Mr. Ervin,” Sen. Hwang said. “His heartfelt appreciation proves that it is never too late to say thank you to our veterans.”

“Thank you, Mr. Ervin,” Rep. Kupchick said. “Your work and sacrifice is an inspiration to us all.”

“This is truly a wonderful way to honor Mr. Ervin,” Rep. Devlin said. “I want to thank him for his brave service for our country.”

Rep. McCarthy Vahey added, “It was an honor to join with my fellow legislators and Mr. Ervin’s co-workers to celebrate his service and humble leadership.”