Veterans Field: This field was named after people we (my wife and I) knew that served our country and in some cases made the ultimate sacrifice. The idea came when at lunch one day I was sitting with a gentle, quiet man by the name of Dick Croft. I had met Dick while working at MPM Corporation in Franklin, MA. In the company cafeteria, as I am sure in many, we solved the world problems , talked about sports, politics and our past. One day, Dick starting speaking about his past - and most notably about his tours (plural) in Vietnam. Dick served in Vietnam during the late 60's. He was "in country" during his two tours and for months at a time was on a recon squad that basically lived off the land. I was intrigued and slowly over time he explained his role in Vietnam and what he was part of. What struck me was that he served two tours in Vietnam, had 3 purple hearts, silver star, bronze star along with a host of commendations. He was shot once and stabbed twice. Vietnam gave him a parting gift of malaria and foot problems, but I never heard him complain. What is more remarkable, when he came home in 1970 for Christmas - he was 20 days short of his 21st birthday! I realized we would have people playing in our facility older than Dick was when he served our country for two long years in Vietnam!
William Reilly Field: Named after Bill Reilly, Jim & Becky's brother-in-law who died of leukemia in 1984 at the age of 34. Bill was a great fan of the Knicks, Yankees and everything New York. In spite of this, we didn't hold it against him!! Bill was a great father, husband and sports fan. His love of all sports made it easy for us to name one of our fields after him.
Keith Kurowski Field: Keith was a teacher at our daughter's grade school when he died suddenly. He passed quickly but his legacy and influence remained among the students, staff and parents he touched. At our daughter's request we gladly named one of our indoor fields for Keith.
Patricia Pantano Field: Patricia Pantano was a lifelong resident of the Milford, Uxbridge area and a guidance counselor at Nipmuc High School. Her influence over hundreds of high school students during her tenure is still being felt many years after her retirement.
- Major Donald W Bentzen, USAAF, WWII - B17 Pilot: Becky's dad. Major Bentzen flew 55 missions over Germany in WWII. Some missions lasted in excess of 18 hours and his formation always encountered stiff German resistance and heavy casualties. One mission Major Bentzen flew his B-17 back to Sicily with only 2 working engines. Amassing more than 2500 combat air hours and over 5000 flight hours, Dad Bentzen received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star and was even given a commendation from Russia - our ally during WWII. Incredibly, despite being present in some of the worst air battles in WWII, there were no casualties in any of Major Bentzen's crews. Major Bentzen returned to the US to teach Instrument flying and eventually settling in Detroit. He was only 22 when his combat flying days were over!
- CPO James L. Farrar, Sr., US NAVY, WWII:
Dad Farrar remarkably could have let the war pass him by. He was 27 years old when the war broke out, just married and had a child on the way. Instead he enlisted in the Navy, acquired the rank of Chief Petty Officer and became a senior instructor teaching Army, Navy and Marines how to survive a ship sinking, first aid techniques and life saving techniques. The day before VJ Day he was reassigned to a battleship in the Pacific - an assignment that he never had to fulfill, the war was over. He went on to coach HS swimming for the next 50 years amassing a record of 273 wins to only 43 losses. He recently was voted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Connecticut Swimming Hall of Fame, National High School Swimming Hall of Fame.
- SSGT Richard Mangan, US Army, WWII, POW: "Uncle Dick" was a tank Sergeant in the battle of Normandy where he was wounded 3 times and taken prisoner by the Germans. He told us he received excellent medical care and survived 3 years in a prisoner of war camp in Germany. He was released at the end of the war and even sent clothing to one of the prison guard's families during the dark times after the war in Germany. Remarkably, in a review of old files, the US Army realized that Uncle Dick was never properly commended for his valor. In the early 90's - 50 years after he served he was awarded the purple heart, bronze and silver star.
- Gunners Mate Edward Gargonia, Navy, WWII: While Uncle Eddie didn't speak of the war very much, what is known is that he served the duration of the war as a gunner's mate aboard a destroyer in the Pacific. My grandmother did tell me of several letters where he described some battles but otherwise very little is known about his time during WWII.
- Specialist Ernest Thomas Trzaski (USNR-SA02), WWII "Ernie" joined the Navy during WWII in July 1943. He served in the war in the South Pacific with the beginnings of the special forces. During the war, he volunteered for special duty which included staying behind on deserted islands to monitor Japanese troop and shipping movements. His potential was quickly recognized by the Navy and he was included in Officer School at Princeton University (where he met Albert Einstein!). Soon after he was transferred to Officer Candidate school at Yale University - Class of 1948 - same graduation class as George Bush, Sr.! Specialist Trzaski served in active duty from July 1943 to April 1946. Mr. Trzaski had a profound affect on me personally as he was a tool maker and machinist. Being somewhat of a mechanic - "Ernie's" lessons on the proper way to handle hand and power tools have probably - over the years - saved all of my fingers!
- Sgt. Gary Bryant, USAF, Vietnam: Sgt Bryant hails from a small town in NH. He enlisted in the Air Force during the mid 60's and was assigned to Rescue in Vietnam. Sgt Bryant served three tours in Vietnam, most notably during the infamous Tet offensive in 1967. Sgt Bryant as a door gunner and paramedic was involved in over 100 pilot rescues sometimes within sight of Hanoi. He was involved in 3 helicopter crashes (shot down), one requiring extensive rehabilitation time. After his 3rd tour, he was assigned to Air/Sea Rescue in Guam where he served for 17 years!
- Sgt. Richard Croft, Army, Vietnam - 82nd Airborne "The All Americans": Dick served two tours in Vietnam. See above for additional information.
- Sgt. David Snyder, Army, Vietnam, 101st Airborne "Screamin' Eagles": David served in Vietnam during the early 70's. He was a helicopter mechanic and door gunner when needed.
- Sgt. Jeffrey D Williams, Army, Vietnam: Jeff, our lawyer, enlisted and served 1 tour in Vietnam. He came back to the US and in his early 20's finished college and then went to law school. Jeff has been our corporate lawyer since 1997.
- Sgt. John Creighton, US Marines, Vietnam "Semper Fi" : Jack, our former Police Chief in Uxbridge, served 2 tours in Vietnam in the late 60's.
- Sgt. Joseph Mammay, US Army, Iraq - 2003: Joe worked for us for two years 2004 - 2006. He spent all of 2003 and part of 2004 in Iraq. He was present during the invasion of Iraq. Joe worked for us as our paintball manager and is sorely missed. His great personality and love for the sport of paintball helped us to start our new paintball business on the right foot!