A group of men posing with turkeys.

RI Veterans: Did you know? 25 November 21 – John A. Cianci

by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer,

                             Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)

Photo: 2003, Baghdad

Thanksgiving With the TroopsRhode Island Captain Missing Thanksgiving Dinner with Family

RINEWSTODAY reached out to local Rhode Islanders who are currently on active duty and duty prevents them from being home for Thanksgiving with their family. Located thousands of miles away in Germany, we were able to interview Captain Dee DeQuattro.

Tony DeQuattro, Marine Veteran, with his daughter , Captain Dee DeQuattro, Rhode Island National Guard, who is currently deployed and serving in Germany and will miss her second Thanksgiving Dinner with her Rhode Island family due to serving her country. 

Captain DeQuattro, member of the Rhode Island National Guard, currently is serving with United States Army Europe Africa.  

Tell us about Thanksgiving with your family in Rhode Island?

“I have a pretty big and boisterous family,” Captain DeQuattro replied via Facebook to RINEWSTODAY. “Thanksgiving at the DeQuattro house is always an adventure between arguing who makes the better turkey, telling hilarious childhood stories, and drinking one too many glasses of wine with my mom, there is never a dull moment.”

“My dad might sometimes overcook the turkey, but I’ll tell you- he has the best stuffing game in town. I miss that stuffing so much and the cranberry sauce in a can. For some reason the canned sauce doesn’t taste nearly the same when I’m not with my family,” she added.

What will you miss being away thousands of miles away from your family on Thanksgiving Day?

“I love to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade and assess the floats with my dad and then yell how the husky totally should have won the dog show.“ replied Captain DeQuattro. “ Being away makes you appreciate the little things, and it makes you appreciate every single moment you do have together.“

“I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty emotional on the holidays when I’m not with my parents and siblings. You do make your own family in the military and the people I serve with have been awesome but there is still no place like home for the holidays.” she added. 

Knowing DeQuattro’s dad, Tony, not a second of time will pass on Thanksgiving Day without him thinking about daughter Captain Dee DeQuattro; whose duty serving her country takes her away from her loving family in Rhode Island. 

RINEWSTODAY salutes Captain Dee DeQuattro and her family for their sacrifices and wish the DeQuattro a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.


Rhode Island Businesses and Veteran Organizations Provide a Helping Hand for Veterans on Thanksgiving 

Rhode Island Fish and Game Protective Association, Tom’s Market, Midstate Gun Company, Berard Desjarlais  Post #88 (AL Post #88), Italian American War Veterans of the United States (ITAMVETS)  and other community partners provided over forty turkeys, fixings, and customized packages for over 100 veterans and their families located in three states; Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

The “helping hand holiday packages” were distributed to locations in Providence, Warwick, and Burrillville Rhode Island. Most of the packages were delivered to the veterans’ homes. 

“I didn’t’ expect the number of boxes we were picking up, “ said Ken Cross, one of the volunteers from the American Legion Post #88 located in Burrillville Rhode Island; Ken volunteered his cargo van and his services for picking up the boxes and transporting hundredths of boxes to the distribution points. . 

“I packed my truck to the maximum and we still had two truckloads left to pack,” added Cross.

“Last year I rented two U-Haul trucks, “ Dan Evangelista, volunteer from the Italian American War Veterans said.

Evangelista has been partnering with Rhode Island Fish and game Protective Services for over 20 years providing veterans names who could use a helping hand during the holiday season. 

“It’s unbelievable the amount and detail of the packages contents made by the Rhode Island Fish and Game Protective Association,” added Evangelista.

“One veteran family the veteran is sensitive to a lot of processed food, and on his family list, we noted this. The club purchased an organic certified turkey, and all kinds of organic and all natural items to not only supplement a Thanksgiving dinner, but almost a month of food items and household item, “ said one veteran who did not want his name published. 

Each veteran’s family packages were customized depending on the family members living in the household. For example, one veteran package had Toy Story Shampoo for kids, female razors, toilet paper , paper towel and many other standard household items used daily by families.  

Another package put together veteran for a single Korean War veteran package had male razorblades, Barbosa shaving cream, and other items used by a male. Instead of a turkey, his package had a turkey breast. 

One of the veteran’s wives in Connecticut who received one of the family packages , had tears of joy as she opened the boxes and saw eggs, butter, pumpkin pie, and so many other common items used by her family. Unbeknown to her, as she was opening another box, one of her children’s hands reached in the previously opened box and grabbed a handful of loose candy. 

“The event could not happen without the support of Tom’s Market in Coventry, Midstate Gun Company , community partners, and club members,” said Tracy Lapointe Webber, one of the organizers of the annual drive to help veterans and their families during the holidays. 

“It is  an event we are honored to have been doing for the last twenty years,” she added.

Hundredths of veterans and their families will enjoy the acts of kindness of this annual event not only on Thanksgiving, but days and weeks after.

KUDOs to all the businesses, veteran organizations, donors, veterans and individuals who make this event a huge success. 

Left to right RIFGPA Spike Webber, Lois Webber, Tracy LaPointe Webber,  Barry Houston,

Dave Lombari, Dan Evangelista, and Ken Cross. 


Upcoming Events:

Saturday, December 11th , 10am to 3pm Toys for Tots Drop Off, American Legion Post #88, 111 Chapel Street , Harrisville RI, 401-568-0858. Bring a new unwrapped toy and join in at 3:00pm for kickoff of Army-Navy Game. At half time, post will be serving NY style hot wieners. 

If you have an event, meeting, other pertinent veteran information, or email questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci, [email protected], ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838)

Thanksgiving With the Rhode Island Military Police Troops , Baghdad Iraq 2003



Applebee’s – Military Discount … With more than 2,000 locations, Applebee’s is a family grill restaurant. Applebee’s gives 10% off for active duty and veteran. Last verified 07/31/2028

Denny’s, Hartford Save Johnston Offers 10% discount for veterans and active duty . Denny’s is a table service diner-style restaurant chain.  Last verified 07/31/2028 (PS I had breakfast there on Saturday).

Outback Steakhouse 10% Discount to active and veterans. Last verified 07/28/2021

99 Restaurant & Pub: The 99 Restaurant & Pub offers a 10% military discount to members of Veterans Advantage. Available at select locations only. Bring valid military ID


Advance Auto Parts 10% for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 07/28/2021 

Bass Pro Shops: Bass Pro Shops offers a 5% discount to active-duty military, reservists, and National Guard. Sign up and verify your status online or bring your military ID when you shop at your nearest Bass Pro store (source).

BJs Wholesale Reduced membership fee. J’s offers all military personnel over 25% off their Membership. Last verified 07/28/2021

Lowes. Enroll in the Lowe’s Military Discount Program to Activate Your 10% Discount

Our way of saying “Thank You” to our active duty, retired and military veterans and their spouses with a 10% discount on eligible items. 

Verification of your military status is fast and easy through our partner, is our trusted technology partner in helping to keep your personal information safe.

GameStop is offering a 10% in-store military discount on all pre-owned products, collectibles, and select new products. Available to current and former military members who bring any valid proof of service or when they verify through 

Home Depot Home Depot offers a 10% OFF military discount on regularly priced merchandise for in-store purchases for active duty, retired military, and reservists at participating locations. Customers are required to show a valid government-issued military ID card to redeem this offer.

Kohls 15% Kohl’s offers active military, veterans, retirees and their immediate family members a 15% discount on purchases made on Mondays, in store only. In order to receive the military discount, eligible customers must present proper identification along with any tender type.


We didn’t want to wait for Veteran’s Day to express our appreciation and gratitude for your service. That’s why every Team Car Care owned and operated Jiffy Lube® service center is offering our BEST discount of 15% OFF as a “Thank You” to the men and women of our Armed Forces for their service to our country. *Disclaimer*- I.D. required. No coupon is required. Excludes batteries and brakes, alignment, and diagnostic services. Available only at select locations listed below:

Tioque Ave, Coventry RI

Bald Hill Road, Warwick RI

Park Ave, Cranston RI

Michaels . Michaels Stores offers a 15% OFF military discount on the entire in-store purchase including sale items for active duty, retired military, guard, reservists, veterans and family members. How to get, 

1.    Create an Account. Log in or create a Michaels Rewards account.

2.    Get Verified. Provide your military information to get verified instantly.

3.    Go Shopping! To use your discount online and in store, just sign into your account or provide your Michaels Rewards phone number at checkout.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 10% discount on in store items for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 3/4/21.

If you are a retailer and or a veteran aware of a business not listed above, please forward: [email protected]:  the business’s name , location, and military and veteran discount offered.

If you have an event, meeting, other pertinent veteran information, or email questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci, [email protected], ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838)


To read all columns in this series go to:

John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.