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Patriotic Article
By June Neal

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Aaron Cheerman Honored with Marine of the Year
(May 6, 2008)

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Aaron Cheerman of Manchester, CT was given the Marine Corps League’s Highest Honor - the Marine of the Year Award. On his left is his wife of 43 years, Sylvia. To the right is Major General James Williams, the Commanding General of all Marine Reserve units of the 4th Marine Division, which is now engaged in the war on terrorism.   On the evening of April 26, Aaron Cheerman of Manchester stood in a regal red military dress uniform in the VFW Post 511 Hall in New Britain and received the Marine Corp League's Hardware City Detachment's Highest Honor: Marine of the Year. Major General James Williams, Commanding General of all Marine reserve units of the 4th Marine Division, now engaged in the Global War on Terrorism, was present at the ceremony where he gave the keynote address.

The honor is awarded annually for outstanding work in support of the U.S. Marine Corps and the Marine Corps League (a veteran's service and support organization).

For those who know Aaron Cheerman, the honor is a natural culmination of an entire adult life devoted to the Marine Corps and its motto, Semper Fidelis, “Always Faithful.”

This was the kid who dreamed of wearing a Marine uniform after seeing “The Sands of Iwo Jima” with John Wayne at the age of 5, and, despite the tough-as-nails boot camp training, he made it.
And that famous Marine pride, that Semper Fi, that sense of honor and duty so synonymous with the
Marines, is as much a part of Aaron Cheerman as is being a devoted husband, a father, and an American.

He enlisted in 1963, at the start of the Vietnam War, and served with the 6th Marine Regiment. In 1964, he served as a weapons instructor for first year midshipmen at the U. S. Naval Academy and later participated in Operation Steel Pike I training exercises in Spain and Portugal, at that time the largest amphibious operation since WWII. He was honorably discharged from active duty in 1965 due to a physical disability.

He is a member of the Honorary Military Order of the Devil Dogs, (the Marine nickname given by the Germans from the 1918 Battle of Belleau Woods, France), and in 2007 was appointed as the Devil Dogs, National Budget Committee Chairman. He is authorized by the


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Department of Defense as a Provider in the Military Funeral Honors Program and is an associate member of the British Royal Marines Association. He is also a member of the Jewish War Veterans.
In his civilian life, Aaron built a successful career in the sewing machine industry, and in 2004, he was inducted into the Sewing Industry Hall of Fame after receiving numerous awards. He is a member of the Sewing Machine Dealers Trade Association, The Better Business Bureau and the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. In 2003, he was nominated to receive a National Small Business Award and was appointed to President Bush's Small Business Advisory Council.

Aaron and the former Sylvia Gutterman of Marlborough, CT, have been married for nearly 43 years and the couple has been members of Temple Beth Shalom in Manchester for 41 years. Aaron is also a Past President of B'nai B'rith Charter Oak Lodge.

Daughter and son-in-law, Lorie and Mark Zackin, are members of Young Israel in West Hartford, and grandson Ari attends the Hebrew Academy where his mother serves as a Board member. The Cheerman's other daughter, Debbie, lives in New York.

Aaron has never left his beloved Marines. As a civilian, he serves as Co-Editor of the Marine Corps Leagues' “Semper Fi” Newsletter and as Co-Public Relations Officer for the Department of Connecticut Marine Corps League.

For Aaron Cheerman, being named Marine of the Year is a great honor.

Serving his country as a Marine: priceless.

By June Neal
Copyright 2008

About Author:
June Neal is a freelance writer for the Hartford Courant and the Jewish Ledger

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