Peter Galgano – Sgt. E-5, United States Marine Corps

Peter Galgano

Berlin, CT

Sgt. E-5, United States Marine Corps

1966-1970

Peter Galgano in 1966

Peter Galgano in 1966 

Why did you choose to enlist?

I chose to enlist because we were in a conflict with Vietnam, and I wanted to do my part to protect our country. It was a time where people were being drafted, so they would go to Canada or get married to avoid it; however, my brother was a Marine, and I felt that I should be one too.

How did the community and the family respond to you enlisting?

My mother and father were really proud of me and supported me so much that they flew down to North Carolina to see me graduate boot camp, and that was the first time they flew anywhere in their life. It definitely made me feel good.

Where did you travel while in the service?

When I graduated boot camp, they sent me to Memphis, Tennessee where I learned how to be a jet engine mechanic. While I was in the service, I also went to Virginia, Puerto Rico, Arizona, and San Diego, where I got on a ship that took me into Vietnam.

Did you make any close friendships while in the service?

Yes, I made very close friends. In Cherry Point, I had a friend from Pennsylvania. Originally, I wasn’t going to get married in boot camp. I wanted to wait until after I graduated, but I

ended up getting married a year into it and had my first child, Peter. My best friend and his wife became the god parents. We stayed so close that I kept getting emails from him up to five years ago.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my service in the Marines. Other people go into other branches of the service, and I respect them all, but every Marine I have met, it’s like a brotherhood. We’ve all done the same thing. Boot camp is difficult, and you have certain accomplishments, but you also learn how to achieve them. War is much different now than it was during Vietnam. Back then, the community didn’t support the war because they didn’t believe in it. When people were discharged and came home, they were booed, spat upon, etc. But now, no matter what conflict, the nation as a whole respects the veterans much more. For about 30 years, I didn’t even admit that I was in the service. I hung up my uniform and didn’t speak to anyone about it, but today things are very different.

Peter Galgano in 2012

Today, Peter is actively involved with the Marine Corps League in New Britain, Veterans of Foreign Wars in Rocky Hill, Vietnam Veterans of America, East Hartford, Town of Berlin Veterans’ Commission, Special Veterans Advisory Committee for Senator Richard Blumenthal, and Staff Advisor for MxCC Veterans Club – Created Partnership with the Middletown Veteran’s Museum and the MxCC Veterans’ Club.

Peter is my grandfather on my mother’s side. Today, he lives with my grandmother Virginia Galgano. He is now working at Middlesex Community College and spends a lot of time with the Cunningham family.

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