On Memorial Day the town of Mansfield, MA pays tribute to the veterans who served the town and their country.
The Mansfield Gridiron Club as a major supporter have elected to honor three vetrans with connections to the football program.
Robert (Bob) Eldridge
Bob Eldridge attended and played football for Mansfield High School in the early 1940's.
The United States was at war on two fronts, the Pacific and the European Theaters.
In February of his senior year at MHS, Bob was drafted into the US Army.
During late 1944 Bob was assigned to the 106th Infantry.
Shortly thereafter the 106th was engaged in a fierce battle, what became known as "The Battle of the Bulge".
After several weeks of intense battle the 106th was overrun by the German forces.
Bob was taken prisoner of war and spent many months in German POW camps before being liberated in 1945.
Alfred (Al) DeSimone
Al attended Arlington High School, and then joined the US Army where he served three years during the Korean War.
He continued on to a successful career with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Corrections.
Al was very involved in the Mansfield community and a key contributor to the Mansfield football programs.
He was a co-founder and coach of the Mansfield Midget football program, a Grand Knight in Knights of Columbus and he was also president of the Professional and Correctional Social Workers Association.
After he retired, Al dedicated his life's passions to the formation and development of the Gridiron Club of Mansfield, where he coached and served as President for 20 years.
Al was the proud recipient of the inaugural Salute to Mansfield Award for his dedication to and involvement in the Mansfield community.
In honor of Al's service to the Mansfield Football program the annual Mansfield Football Gold Helmet Award was named after him.
James (Jimmy) Albertini
Jimmy Albertini attended and participated in several sports, including football, for Mansfield High School.
Jimmy carrying the ball vs King Philip.
Graduating in 1965 Jim became a soldier in the US Army.
Cpl. Albertini was sent to serve in the Vietnam War.
In February of 1968, during a battle in Vietnam, Jimmy made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
The Mansfield gymnasium was named in his memory.