The history of the United States military spans four centuries, evolved from a new nation fighting for independence, through the monumental American Civil War, to defending today’s modern world. Through these many years, thousands of military service members have devoted themselves to protecting freedom, maintaining peace, providing relief and supporting policy around the globe.[1]


Service members experiences impact their entire lives – as active military to honored veteran. And it is in this evolution for all past, present, and future service members that they should find support and empowerment.


In late 2014, a discussion began on the lack of services and programs available, or known, to veterans in the Northeastern Connecticut area. As part of the Connecticut Congressional District-2, NECT has the largest concentration of veteran, approximately 60,000 as of 2019, which is nearly twice the number of any other district – yet most services and programs for veterans in Connecticut are focused in the Hartford area. Discussions continued to grow, more community members and local veterans came onboard and the realization of the importance to bring an organization together to serve the veteran community came into full light.


By April 2015 the Danielson Veterans Coffeehouse was established. Starting as a twice-monthly meeting, with 13-veterans in attendance for the first meeting, the Coffeehouse set out a mission to provide a comfortable location for all veterans, both men and women of any age, to meet, socialize and connect with one another while providing and discussing information regarding veterans benefits and service through federal and state agencies and programs.


This mission endures today, with more than 400-current members, 60+ members in attendance at weekly Coffeehouse meetings and numerous community partnerships and outreach initiatives – including blood banks, flu shot clinics and non-perishable food donation collections for area foodbanks.

[1] Today’s Military, 2020 [https://www.todaysmilitary.com/]



cups of coffee served


non-parishable food items donated to local foodbanks


veterans served by the

Mobile Food Pantry


volunteer hours donated


monetary donations


Fred Ruhlemann 


US NAVY | 1968-1973

Charlie Milewski 


US ARMY | 1964-1984

Tom Pandolfi 

First Vice President

US ARMY | 1960-1964

Bruce Hay 

Second Vice President

US NAVY | 1966-1970

Chuck Lalumiere 


US AIR FORCE | 1980-2000


The Advisory Committee, chaired by second vice president, is comprised of members and volunteers who assist with the operating functions of the Coffeehouse – including coordinating and executing on project ideas, booking guest speakers, facilitating community outreach and brainstorming future initiatives.

Marilyn Thanas 

Committee Lead