GREENLAND – Two men who served in World War II were honored posthumously at a medal ceremony in Greenland on Monday.
The daughters of Carlton Farrand and Ralph Noveletsky were grateful for the recognition, not only for themselves, but for future generations of their families.
Farrand’s daughter, Barbara Hazzard of Greenland, said her father was one of the first men from Maine to enlist in the Army during World War II, traveling from Bangor, Maine, to San Francisco by train to start his service.
Farrand was wounded in the line of duty when he was hit by an enemy sniper’s bullet in France but did not receive his Purple Heart before passing away in 1995.
“He was proud to be a soldier in the Army, and after he got involved in the VFW and the American Legion and he loved to march in the parades … He’s looking down on us now. He’d be so proud,” Hazzard told the crowd gathered at Greenland Town Hall.
Hollie Noveletsky, of Newfields, said her father joined the Army at 15½ years old.
Noveletsky said her father taught himself to read in the Army and became a medic. He was one of 3,000 men who volunteered for a long-range penetration special operations jungle warfare unit which fought in the China-Burma-India Theater. Only 200 of the men returned home.
Ralph Noveletsky was awarded numerous decorations for his service during the Burma campaign, but those medals were lost over the years. Hollie Noveletsky reached out to U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office to see if they could be replaced, particularly for her 15-month-old grandson named James Ralph Noveletsky.
“I want him to know the man behind his name and these medals serve to do just that. My father was not only a great man. He was a great American and even better father and grandfather, and if you asked his mother, the best son,” Hollie Noveletsky said.
Ralph Noveletsky died in 1999.
Shaheen and Adjutant General David Mikolaities of the New Hampshire National Guard spoke at the ceremony.
Shaheen called both men “real American heroes.”
“The men that we’re recognizing here represent the best of our nation,” Shaheen said before thanking the other veterans in the audience for their service.
Mikolaities said that at the beginning of America’s involvement in World War II, there were less than 200,000 soldiers in the U.S. Army. By the height of the fight in 1944, the Army had over 8 million soldiers, he said.
“When we deploy now, we deploy for six months, nine months, 12 months. We call that a deployment. Back in that generation, they deployed until the job was done. Years. Big difference,” Mikolaities said.
“It just defines who those people were, what they stood for and the values they had that they were able to take that oath of enlistment and say, ‘I’m ready to go for an extended period of time,’” Mikolaities said.
Shaheen said obtaining medals for veterans who deserve them brings her great joy. Her office encourages family members to reach out to staff members if they feel their loved one deserves such recognition for their military service.