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Branford's Memorial Day 2019 Parade Marshals are two Korean War U.S. Army veterans who served their country with honor and distinction, Cpl. Robert Zettergren (left) and Sgt. Alex Palluzzi, Sr. (Photo by Bill O'Brien )
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Two local veterans of the Korean War who served their country with honor and distinction will co-marshal Branford's 2019 Memorial Day Parade.
On Monday, May 27, Alex Palluzzi Sr., who served on the front lines in South Korea as U.S. Army Sergeant; and Robert Zettergren, who was wounded in action in North Korea as a U.S. Army Corporal, will lead the parade along Main Street, stepping off immediately following ceremonies on the Branford Green at 10 a.m. (see related story).
Corporal Zettergren served in the Army from 1952-54 with the 40th Division, 224 Infantry as an Engineer; beginning his service in Inchon, South Korea in 1952 following engineering training in Yokohama, Japan. In June, 1953, while serving in North Korea, Zettergren was wounded by mortar fire which struck his legs and back. Nearly 66 years later, he still carries shrapnel from the wound in his body. Zettergren is a recipient of the Purple Star and numerous commendations and medals.
Sgt. Palluzzi served from 1951-53 with the 40th Division, 223 Infantry as a medical aid and chaplain's assistant. Following extensive training in Sendai, Japan, he began his service in Inchon, South Korea on Christmas Day, 1951. Palluzzi remained on the front lines at the 38th Parallel for 12 months in 1952. Palluzzi received three Battle Stars for his service to his country.
Both Palluzzi and Zettergren are Branford residents who grew up in North Branford and have been active members of the Branford community for decades.
Palluzzi and his wife, Jeannette, recently celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary. The couple raised four sons, Alex Jr., Jake, Michael and Tony. Palluzzi's career with Tilcon-Tomaso Company (North Branford) spanned 40 years before he retired as foreman of the asphalt division in 1990. An active member and past board member of the Branford Lions Club, he is a Melvin Jones Fellow and recipient of the CT Lions Humanitarian Service Award.
Zettergren and his wife of 63 years, Jane, raised two daughters, Patty and Donna. Zettergren was an engineer with Pratt & Whitney for five years before becoming the owner and operator of his business, Zettergren Floors, for 35 years.
In 2010, Palluzzi and Zettergren each received a State of Connecticut Korean War Veteran Public Service Award. The award was given to thank the state's Korean War veterans for their dedicated service to our country during the Korean conflict, which lasted from 1950 through 1953.
Branford Veterans Parade Chairman Bill O'Brien contributed to this story.
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