Sen. Witkos Names Canton Man “Veteran of the Month”

March 2, 2016
Demars

Canton – State Senator Kevin Witkos (R-8) named George Demars of Canton the “Veteran of the Month” this March. Demars, born and raised in Winsted, served bravely in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. His courageous acts of heroism earned him a Bronze Star with Combat V designation.

“I’m honored to recognize George this month for his incredible acts of heroism and service throughout his life,” said Sen. Witkos. “During his time in Korea, George became a true hero, risking his life in some of the most dangerous situations to help others. Since his incredible acts of service, he has continued to help others through decades of amazing community involvement and volunteerism. Thank you George for all that you’ve given our country and our community.”

Demars was born in Winsted in 1932. He attended the Gilbert School where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. After high school in 1950 George joined the United States Marine Corps. Early on he was assigned to the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. He played basketball for the fleet in North Africa and Europe. In 1952 he was sent to Korea where he would see much combat over the next 15 months.

On February 25, 1953 the company in which Demars served was overrun after raiding an enemy position on a ridge. When the company withdrew, it was discovered that six wounded men had been left behind. Demars, who normally led a squad, was the ranking man left standing and organized a platoon size force that battled back to the position and rescued all of the wounded men. During this action Demars was repeatedly exposed to enemy grenades, machinegun fire, and rifle fire. For this action Demars was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V, a special designation awarded for an act of heroism in combat.

Demars remained in Korea until the end of the conflict. He was photographed shaking hands with Major General Pollac at the signing of the armistice in 1953. He was also pictured and named on the front page of the July 28, 1953 Harford Times celebrating the armistice with a handful of his marine buddies. George was also present for the repatriation of US prisoners who had been held by the communist forces.

Demars became the Director of Athletics of the local YMCA prior to becoming the President and Treasurer of the Carnell Company for 35 years. The Carnell Co. was the last lumberyard operating in Winsted before it closed down when George retired.

George has been extremely active in the community as one of Winsted’s civic leaders for decades. He was chairman of the local cancer drive and sat on the advisory boards for the Salvation Army, Northwest Community Bank and Northwestern Connecticut Community College. He also served as Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, President of the YMCA, President of the Kiwanis club, President of the Gilbert School Athletic Club, President of the Winsted Board of Recreation, Vice president of the Winsted JC’s, Youth Director of the YMCA, and Board of Directors Member of the Visiting Nurse association. George has also been a member of the Elks club, VFW post 840, the Pinewoods Racket club, City League Basketball, the Greenwoods Country Club and the Winsted Historical Society Board.

Demars’ full story and a video interview can be found on www.senatorwitkos.com and at the following direct link: http://ctsenrepublic.wpengine.com/2016/03/veteran-of-the-month-george-demars/#.Vtc9-fkrK70.

Senator Witkos’ “Veteran of the Month” program features the stories of local veterans each month through text and video. Each story highlights the veteran’s unique experiences and acts of service. To nominate a local veteran to be a “Veteran of the Month” please contact Christopher F. Diorio at the CT Senate Republican Office by calling (860) 240-8801 or emailing [email protected]

Video interview available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-L6Iu8p4Dk
Photos available for download on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/srophotos/albums/72157665234902215