Honoring Our Veterans: Dennis Raffa

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Philadelphia native Dennis Raffa loves his country, Mummery and his community of Port Richmond.Through his sacrifice fighting for our country in the sixties Raffa reflects on his time served with the Marine Corp and looks forward to celebrating this upcoming Veterans Day.

“That’s what I want to be. I want to be apart of the best of the best and I want to have respect. So I enlisted into the Marine Corp,” Dennis Raffa said.

69-year-old Dennis Raffa joined the Untied States Marine Corp in 1964. Veterans day is special for Raffa, bringing back both good and bad memories of the time he served in uniform in Vietnam

“It’s a numbing feeling too. It’s a day of reflection. Unfortunately sometimes it’s a day of flashbacks.  It is what it is,” Raffa said.

After returning to the U.S, Dennis found help in coping from the Mummers. He’s been part of Polish American String Band since 1994 as a marshal and even was assistant to the captain on new years day. Raffa sees similarities between the brotherhood of Mummery and the Marines.

“The comradely of it all.  I love that in the Marine Corp and in the string bands, but most of all the joy we bring to the people that watch us. Its wonderful," Raffa said.

Dennis Raffa served as the Port Richmond Memorial Day chairman for 15 years. Everyday, he thinks of his time in the Marines always wearing his military ring, watch or hat.  Serving our country changed his life.

“Always lean. Always mean and always United States Marine. You can see I’m not as lean as I used to be. A lot of people might say I am still mean as I was, but I will always and forever be a United States Marine until the day I die.

By:David Grzybowski/ PHL17

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