Golden Kielbasa Veterans Open

2023 Angelo Tomasso, Sr. and Angelo Tomasso, Jr. Veteran of Distinction Award Honorees

Tom Higgins, U.S. Army

Tom Higgins grew up in New Britain, attended local schools and graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in 1964. The son of a World War II Army Air Corps medical officer, Staff Sergeant Higgins served active duty in the U.S. Army from 1965-1969, his principal assignment being in Germany training in counterinsurgency with the 10th Special Forces Group. He later served stateside in the Army Reserve through 1977. An accomplished computer technology and electronic equipment sales and management executive who worked for companies including Sperry UNIVAC, Intel and Sun Microsystems, Higgins has spent the vast majority of his post-military life serving his community and fellow veterans; he holds or has held over the years leadership positions with DAV Hardware City Chapter 8, the New Britain Veterans Council and Elks Lodge 957, New Britain. Higgins was the driving force behind the New Britain community’s Armistice@100 series of events in 2018 commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I, and he has played a major role in the success of DAV Hardware City Chapter 8’s Wreaths Across America program – including managing and coordinating the Wreaths Across America National Convoy visit to New Britain last December. On behalf of DAV Hardware City Chapter 8 thank you, Tom, for your service to our nation and our community.

Armen Bayram, U. S. Marines, Vietnam

Armen Bayram, who died in January, 2023 at age 77, was born and raised in New Britain and graduated from Pulaski High School in 1964. A U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant, Bayram served 14 months in Vietnam and was awarded two Purple Hearts for his valor. He was a member of the Marine Corps League Commanders Club for Disabled Veterans. An avid and accomplished golfer – he was club champion at Tunxis in 1972, nearly qualified for the PGA’s Sammy Davis Jr. Greater Hartford Open as an amateur, finished runner-up with his son for the Father-Son State Championship and recorded three holes-in-one during his lifetime – Bayram spent decades in the food industry, including working at the family business, The Epicure Market in Farmington, and operating Bayram’s Restaurant at Stanley Golf Course. Bayram spent his retirement years making hundreds of friends as a starter at Timberlin Golf Course in Berlin, working alongside his son, Timberlin Head Professional Marc Bayram.

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