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Date: 11/13/2007

Hampden Postmaster Daniel Cantin honored the town's veterans on Friday with a Purple Heart stamp dedication ceremony. The Purple Heart stamp, printed in honor of the Purple Heart badge which is awarded to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded or killed in action, was first issued on May 30, 2003, to honor the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the military.

"As Postmaster I have to do presentation every year and this year I decided to honor our veterans," Cantin said. He described his stamp presentation as "one of a kind."

Two World War II and two First Gulf War veterans of VFW Post 9397 joined Cantin at the post office. Brian Belanger served on five tours of duty and was part of Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom and served in Bosnia and Kosovo. Amos Merrill Jr. served in the Navy and currently has a niece on her second tour of duty in Iraq. Postmaster Cantin served in both the Army and the Air Force. Pictured from left to right are Jim Stevens (Army), Tony Pelagreno (Army), Cantin, Belanger and Merrill.

Reminder Publications photo by Courtney Llewellyn