PHOTO: McGovern Honors Military Service of Worcester Veteran

Today Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02) honored the military service of Thomas McGrath Jr., who served in the United States Navy from 1957 thru 1959. As part of today’s event recognizing McGrath’s military service to our country, Congressman McGovern and State Rep. Jim O’Day presented him with a vintage World War II blanket similar to the white wool Bunk Blanket he received and cherished while in the Navy.

In the early 1970s, a young woman was hit by a car on Clark Street in Worcester. McGrath’s children had been walking home from church youth group together with the teenager when the incident occurred. Mr. McGrath rushed out of his home to assist the young woman and told his children to get a blanket from their home to cover her with. They brought out his Navy blanket. He covered the young woman with the blanket. She ultimately passed away and Mr. McGrath never saw his Navy blanket again.

“Today I am honored to recognize the extraordinary service of Tom McGrath both in the U.S. Navy and when he returned home to Worcester. Tom proudly represented our country on the U.S.S. Boston across the world and continued to serve our community here in Central Massachusetts,” Congressman McGovern said. “When a young woman was hit by a car near his home, he rushed to help her and wrapped her in a blanket he received in the Navy. I know that blanket was a great comfort to her in her time of need. Today we present Tom with a vintage World War II blanket similar to the original to thank him for his continued service to our country both in and out of uniform. He is a shining example of the dedication and service that define our country’s veterans and we are forever grateful to him and all who serve.”

CAPTION: Worcester veteran Thomas McGrath Jr. with vintage World War II Navy blanket, surrounded by family, supporters, Congressman McGovern, and State Rep. Jim O’Day.

At today’s event, Congressman McGovern was joined today by State Representative Jim O’Day as well as members of McGrath’s family and community members.

McGrath served on the U.S.S. Boston, the world’s first Baltimore Class guided missile cruiser, and his service included voyages through the Panama Canal, across the Equator and across the Arctic Circle during the 1957 NATO exercises. In 1957 he participated in the funeral of King Haakon of Norway as the official United States representative.

McGrath was twice deployed to the Mediterranean as a member of the Sixth Fleet and participated in good will missions and efforts to advance democracy overseas. While deployed in the Mediterranean in 1958, the U.S.S. Boston stood ready while President Nixon worked through the Lebanon Mid-East Crisis.