A woman in uniform standing in front of a sign that says u s army legal agency.

RI Veterans: Did you know? (A Thanksgiving letter home), 24-11-22 – John A. Cianci

by John A. Cianci, contributing writer, veterans issues

Editor’s Note: John is working on a FREE Thanksgiving Dinner for Veterans at Perella’s Ristorante today – no one is harder working when it comes to holidays than John. (The dinner is 1pm & 3pm. with Italian American War Veterans and Auxiliary providing deliveries, etc. Reservations had to be made by last night – if you want further information, call 401-677-9838.


Marine veteran Anthony DeQuattro, with daughter CPT Dee Dequattro 

A Letter Home from a Rhode Island Soldier Stationed Overseas During the Holidays

From CPT Dee DeQuattro, U.S. Army, stationed in Vilseck, Germany. – It’s that time of year again and it gets increasingly more difficult the more time elapses. Three. That’s the number of Thanksgivings I have missed since I made the decision to raise my right hand and join the U.S. Army. While many believe it a courageous endeavor, I think the most courageous thing I have done is left home. It is so hard not being with the people you love on the holidays and while the Army has provided me a different family, it’s not the same.

Nothing can beat the distinct feeling of home for the holidays. Thanksgiving in Rhode Island usually kicked off with a Friendsgiving on Thanksgiving Eve, where all my friends would gather and eat way too much before we would eat way too much with our families the next day. It was one of my favorite gatherings of the year. I’d always spend Thanksgiving at my parents’ house enjoying my dad’s famous stuffing, the out of the can cranberry sauce, and, of course, one too many glasses of wine with my mom. It’s the little things I miss most. Just being around family on the holidays makes you feel special and loved. And, of course, nothing compares to American football on TV followed by The Christmas Story on repeat.

Joining the U.S. Army has been a true honor, but it’s particularly hard this time of year when you can’t help but miss home. Sometimes it’s easy to feel alone and forgotten, but when people from home reach out and send love it makes me feel that much better. I’ll miss you all again this year. And I wish you all the very best feast, and a great day surrounded by friends and family.

Love, Dee


A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

If you are a retailer and or a veteran aware of a business not listed above, please forward  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,, 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.