Veteran’s Day: Pomfret veteran reflects on service, supports other veterans

As Veterans Day approaches we are taking the time to acknowledge the men and women who have served our country. People like Armand Jolly, a Connecticut Veteran who has not only see so much of American history, he has helped create it.

"9/23/22," Jolly said proudly.

That is when he was born in Putnam, Connecticut.

"I had a good life," said Jolly. "I can't complain a bit."

If you are trying to do the math, that was 96 years ago, and in that time, this honorable Navy veteran has seen some important moments in American history.

The USS Emmons was one of the ships Jolly was aboard while in the navy. It was a ship that went down after being attacked by kamikazes off of the coast of Japan during World War II.

"69 people died that day," said Jolly.

But Jolly survived.

"I think about how lucky I am," said Jolly.

Surviving that attack, and living through the battle at Normandy, these are just a few of the stories he has lived to tell.

"Normandy we fired the first shot in the morning, we were just off the beach, 3000 yards off the beach," said Jolly. "The water was all red with blood."

Today, he is legally blind, though determined as ever to live life to the fullest. He is often recounting memories of his daughter, who passed away from cancer a few years ago, or his late wife of more than 70 years.

"She was a bright woman," said Jolly. "Oh was she bright!"

All the while, he is enjoying his ever growing family.

"As a matter of fact, we have four generations of Jollys, me, and my son, grandson, and his son," said Jolly. "I’ve got seven great-grandchildren!"

And quietly tucked away in his home in Pomfret, are his prestigious awards, like the Purple Heart, which was bestowed on this veteran who is as humble as he is decorated.

"To me it just means you’re an American, that’s it, you know you’re an American all the way through, and I’m proud," said Jolly. "I’m glad that I did join the Navy."

To Jolly, age is just a number. He still tries to do what he can on his own, like mowing his lawn, and this Saturday, November 10, he will be participating in a walk to honor Veterans.

"Makes me feel proud that they notice, you know a lot of people don’t notice veterans, you’re just there," said Jolly. "But some people notice, and they thank you for your service."
And that, Jolly says, means the world to him.