Sharing Southborough service members’ life lessons

Above: Seven of the nine resident service members interviewed for a soon to be released documentary. (Contributed photo)

Southborough Access Media will soon be airing an original documentary, “Southborough Veterans: Local Life Lessons”.

The focus is on not just veterans, but those who are still serving in the US military. SAM producer Terry Newman captured the stories of nine men from town.*

The men spoke of their service in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Congo. Newman explains:

The stories you will hear on the documentary is about their leadership skills they learned and observations they made while in the military and more importantly what they did with those skills after they left the service. The contributions that they made to the Southborough community and still continue to make are invaluable. This is not about battles and conflicts, however some felt the need to share, as it may have been part of what shaped them.

The project was partially funded through a grant from the Southborough Community Fund. Interviews were completed several months ago. But Newman has been busy at work editing.

Since the piece is 30 minutes, I had to edit a great deal to tell the story. However, as their stories are so important, I was able to give them their full interviews on a dvd, to preserve their history for their families.

She expects to begin airing the documentary in two weeks.  (Scroll down for the schedule.**)

The producer’s goal is for cross generational lessons can be passed on:

I like to think of it as simply connecting the dots. I hope that people bump into these veterans and just say hello. They are humble and not looking for anything extra.

Along with her news, Newman shared pictures from a luncheon held for the service members back in March by the Southborough Friends of the Council on Aging.

(contributed photo L to R): Steve Whynot, Navy - Retired, Navy Achievement Medal recipient and Earle Watkins, Army, Bronze Star & Purple Heart recipient.      (contributed photo L to R): back row - John Wilson, Mel Kizner, Paul Cimino, Earle Watkins, Steve Whynot; front row - Christopher Robbins and Arthur Butler, Jr.      (contributed photo L to R): back row - John Wilson, Mel Kizner, Paul Cimino, Earle Watkins, Steve Whynot; front row - Christopher Robbins and Arthur Butler, Jr.

*Here are the nine residents who shared their stories:

  • Arthur Butler, Jr., Army – Bronze Star, Purple Heart
  • Paul Cimino, Army, West Point graduate (Selectman)
  • Mel Kizner, Army, Ranger
  • Dan Kolenda, Army, JAG corps, Bronze Star (Selectman)
  • Ray Minnucci, Army, Quartermaster
  • Christopher Robbins, Army – Retired
  • Earle Watkins, Army, Bronze Star & Purple Heart recipient
  • Steve Whynot, Navy – Retired, Navy Achievement Medal recipient
  • John Wilson, Army – Retired, Bronze Star (former Town Moderator)

[Note: Newman says me she did ask women to participate, but wasn’t able to recruit any.]

**The documentary will be broadcast on SAM’s Public Channel (Charter-191 and Verizon-38) from January 11 – February 29, by the repeating schedule:

  • Monday, Wednesday & Friday – 8:00 pm
  • Tuesday and Thursday – 8:00 am
  • Saturday – 6:00 pm
  • Sunday – 10:00 am

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Donna McDaniel
8 years ago

Such a great idea! Be sure to watch when it’s on SAM. We do a lot of talking about honoring veterans but here’s a real way… learn about what their service was like for them. I think it’s important for all.. especially for the younger generations…to know about war.. I know…I’d like to protect my younger grandchildren but at some point they and al of us need to know it’s not just jet crews dropping bombs (bad enough but…) I say this as one who grew up during WWII watching Saturday newsreels filmed at the various fronts. And then there were the films of Vietnam.
We need leaders and decision-makers (willing, even eager) to send young men and woman off to war AND are well-informed about the horrors of war to both the perpetrators and their innocent victims!
A number of years ago (maybe 15 or so?) the Southborough Historical Society interviewed veterans and prepared a card for each one. It had been on display for a while and the records are still there. (Society Museum open on Sundays 1-3.)

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