Retired Brigadier General (CT) McHale enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1968 and served with the 34th Group in Vietnam in diving and demolitions in the Southern Part of Vietnam in the Mekong Delta in 1970 and 1971. He joined the Connecticut Army National Guard (CTARNG) in 1973 and, upon completion of Officer Candidate School two years later, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant (Infantry). Over the next 36 years, he served a variety of CTARNG assignments at the company, battalion and, brigade-level command. This included service as the Air Operations Officer member of Joint Task Force (JTF) for Operation Promote Liberty in Panama. From 2001 to 2005, he was Commander of the 85th Troop Command of the CTARNG, eight battalions with approximately 3,200 soldiers, the majority of which were deployed to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terror. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, McHale was appointed Commander for the CTNG Quick Reaction Force (QRF) which has deployed numerous times to protect critical infrastructure and nuclear power plants sites up and down the East Coast.
He retired from the military in August 2005 but was brought out of retirement to oversee the Connecticut National Guard’s Katrina Relief Operation in 2005 and 2006. Before retirement from the U.S. Postal Service, he served as Manager of Customer Service Operations for the Hartford-area post offices and was the Postmaster in Simsbury. Today, McHale is Connecticut’s Transition Assistance Advisor (TAA), a Department of Defense contractor who provides advocacy and outreach to all generations of veterans, as well as active military and their families. He co-chairs the OIF/OEF/OND Military Support Coalition of more than 130 members of Federal, State, Civilian agencies, VSO’s and Military Associations. Inducted into the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame in 2009, he is the Connecticut Chapter President of the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) and also co-chairs the National Guard Association Annual Retiree Picnic.Special event features will include a Wreath-Laying Ceremony to remember veterans at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch at 11:30 a.m., one hour before the parade begins. At 1:30 p.m., parade marchers will stop in-place for a Moment of Silence in observance of service members who died while serving their country. Parade volunteers will hand out American flags to spectators, and sell 2013 commemorative parade lapel pins. They also will have “Thank You, Veterans” materials that people can hold high as the parade marches by.
To register to march or get more information, visit www.ctveteransparade.org or call 860-986-7254.