VETERAN OF THE MONTH | Tom Dupuis: Man for the town

By Milan Eagle Media

Veteran of the Month for March, Tom Dupuis, is definitely a “man of the town”

Tom was born February 21, 1945 in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  He married Pat, his high  school girlfriend, and they have two children, a daughter and a son.  Next New Year’s Eve will mark their 50th wedding anniversary!

In early 1963 Tom went into the United States Navy.  His boot camp was at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, on the western shore of Lake Michigan in Illinois.  After boot camp he was sent to San Diego, California where he was assigned to the USS Oriskany (CV-34), an attack aircraft carrier.  The USS Oriskany was nicknamed the “Mighty O”.   Length of the carrier was 904 feet with a beam of 129 feet.  Draft was 30 feet 6 inches. It was commissioned September 25, 1950 and on May 17, 2006 she was sunk  off the coast of Florida as an artificial reef.

While serving on the USS Oriskany Tom worked in aircraft maintenance fuels division.  They would go out to sea for 9 months at a time and then back to their home port of San Diego for 3 months.  Tom spent three tours of duty in Vietnam which also included going to different ports like Japan, Philippines and Hong Kong.  The nicest being Japan he said.

Dupuis fondly recalls being selected for Honor Guard when President John F. Kennedy was onboard; this was about 6 weeks before he was assassinated.

While serving in the US Navy Tom was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Navy Good Conduct Medal.  He was discharged in 1966.

Except for his time in the Navy, Tom has lived in Michigan all his life.  Around 1970 he moved to Milan where he resides today.  About 5 years ago Tom retired from General Motors and also his photography business Images and Memories which he’d specialized in weddings and senior pictures for 30 years.    He can still be seen around town with his camera but it is mostly as a hobby.

Speaking of seeing Tom around town…since he retired he’s keeping busy with the Backstreet Cruizers  and his Classic 1972 Nova Super Sport.  The pearl in the paint  changes the color so it could look orange, red, yellow or green.  His other activities include Moving Milan Forward, Milan Area Fire Board, Planning Commission, Co-chair of the Milan Veterans Wall, member of the Veterans Wall Board through Parks and Recreation, VFW, American Legion, Summer Fest and Fair Board.

Tom gave of his time to serve our country during the Vietnam War and he’s still giving his time to serve the people of Milan.

The Milan Eagle salutes Tom Dupuis and thanks him for his service!

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