Many of us observe Veteran's Day. Maybe we show up at the observance ceremony on the green, or slow down when we drive by it. Maybe we call the veterans in our lives, wishing them a good day and thanking them for their service.
And then there are those who take an extra step, put themselves out a little more, and Michael Hafford, the owner of Scranton Seahorse Inn, is one of those.
He hosted six veterans overnight on Sunday, at no charge, and made them breakfast on Monday morning, along with their wives and girlfriends. And then he sat down and talked with them.
Having breakfast with Michael Monday were Vincent Carucci (Air Force) and his girlfriend Theresa Stevens of West Hartford; Carlos Castillo (Army) and his girlfriend Krystyn Krug of Wilton; Newlyweds Shane Hobart (Marines) and his wife Tashique Hobart of North Branford; and Jesse Stewart (Navy) and his wife Alyssa Stewart of New London. Other guests were already out and about town, or upstairs sleeping in.
Some guests Hafford knew already. Vincent Carucci is one of his high school buddies.
"We graduated in 2004," Michael said, perhaps shaving a few years off of that.
"We did?" Vincent said.
"You're supposed to go along with me," Michael said, as others at the breakfast table laughed.
"OK. But I was going to say 2005," Vincent said.
Vincent and his girlfriend, who are familiar with the area, spent Sunday night at the bar at Malone's, hanging out with the locals and having a good time. Shane and Theresa, who are restaurant buffs, headed straight for Bar Bouchee, where they enjoyed some great good and the cozy atmosphere. Carlos and Krystyn headed straight for the beach when they got here Sunday, and were rewarded with a beautiful day.
Other guests were Michael's new friends.
Jesse moved to New London about a year ago and his wife Alyssa followed in May of this year. They said they loved staying at Michael's inn, and exploring Madison and the surrounding towns. They had dinner at Centro's, a new pizza place in Guilford, and said they are looking forward to coming back again to explore further.
"We are going to come back again and check out some of those stores," Alyssa said, with a big smile. She then asked Michael if he was going to offer for veterans would be made again next year.
"It will," he said. "You can count on that."