is this you? Claim your profile.
is this you? Claim your profile.
+ Get 10 Free Contacts a Month
It's free and takes 30 seconds
Colonel Michael Zacchea, a Brookfield resident and retired Marine who received a Purple Heart for his service in Iraq.
Michael Zacchea, a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Reserves who was deployed to Iraq, said he was sometimes skeptical of upper-level analysis emphasizing al-Qaeda in Iraq rather than the insurgency's local roots.
"It's very, very frustrating for everyone involved who is trying to do the right thing," he said.
And then there are messages a man like Mike Zacchea can deliver.
Zacchea earned a Bronze Star for valor during Operation Phantom Fury, a major assault on Sunni insurgents in Iraq. He also received a Purple Heart. "The first thing I remember was being flecked in the face with concrete as a sniper was shooting at me while I was lying in a pool of blood," Zacchea said. Zacchea didn't tell the players what he told the Christian Science Monitor in 2010. That after arriving home early in 2005, with a traumatic brain injury, he wouldn't talk to anyone for months. That one day he grabbed a clerk at a flower store hard by the neck after they got into an argument and she threw his change at him. That he lit his bathroom door on fire after his wife locked it. Zacchea thought his wife was an insurgent. Yes, Zacchea said Wednesday, those stories are true. Just as the story that eventually, his mind, his heart, his soul would heal are true. Zacchea pursued an MBA from UConn. From there he turned to a goal, noble and necessary. "I feel like I'm in a place in my life now where I can help other people who have been through what I have," Zacchea said. The UConn School of Business is among eight schools that help disabled veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan start businesses. The intense 10-day program, funded by charities and businesses, is called the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities. Zacchea has been there from the start as its director and recently was appointed by the school to lead career initiatives for veterans. Since the first graduating boot camp class in 2010, 25 veterans have started 27 businesses. Zacchea brought Justin Nash of Cheshire and Doug Yeager of Winsted to meet with the media. Nash, Zacchea said, is being modest. At one point, two freshman players, Zacchea identified one as Casey Cochran, approached him to share their family's military stories. "It was a fantastic day for us," Zacchea said.
The 2012 Parade Grand Marshal is Lieutenant Colonel Michael Zacchea of Brookfield, a veteran of the U.S. Marines who runs the University of Connecticut's Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, and is director of veterans' outreach ...
Lieutenant Colonel Mike Zacchea , a recipient of both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his actions during the Battle of Fallujah in 2004 epitomizes the risks that returning combat vets face.
For the first six months he was home Lt. Col. Zacchea, a third-generation marine, did not talk to anyone. He was irritable, angry, and aggressive. The most routine encounters turned violent. He assaulted a flower store clerk after they got in an argument and she threw change at him. "I grabbed her neck and almost choked her unconscious," he says. He was violent at home, too, at one point setting the bathroom door on fire after his wife locked herself inside. He thought she was an insurgent.