A heartfelt welcome home for Vinny Destasio

By Karen Polise

Six years ago at the early age of 17, Vinny Destasio enlisted in the US Army and earned the rank of Specialist, Military Police Corps. After his active duty tour, he transferred to the Army Reserve where he is still an active member. Back from the military, Vinny was hired by National Grid in 2016 as a Utility Mechanic, and now considers his colleagues and union leadership part of his family.

Shortly after joining the company, Vinny’s Army Reserve Unit was mobilized for a yearlong deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp in Cuba. His unit’s mission at the Detention facility was the safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of law-of war detainees for an extended period.

Vinny experienced some personal loss back home while deployed, but feels fortunate to have the ongoing support of his National Grid co-workers. “You get trained in the service to perform your job,” says Vinny. And I’m very fortunate to have a great family here at National Grid who supported me back home while I was on deployment.”  In his own words, Vinny thanks his colleagues in this short video:

Vice President of Maintain and Construction, Bob DeMarinis, a fellow veteran, said “It’s truly an honor to be here today to welcome Vinny home. Not only is he to be commended for his dedication in serving our country, but also for the hard work he and his colleagues do here, every day. It’s critical work and the Gas Field Operations workers do it well, ensuring safe and reliable service for our customers.”

(L – R) Lissette Lugo, Phil Echevarrio, and Kathleen Murray present Vincent with special gifts, a VERG mug, a mouse pad with the American flag, and a *National Grid challenge coin.


(L – R) Brian Varga – Director, Gas Field Ops West, Phil Echevarrio – Manager, LI East Gas Field Ops, Margaret Dugan – Manager, LI West Gas Field Ops, Lissette Lugo – Stakeholder Management, Kathleen Murray – Emergency Planning, Vinny Destasio – Utility Mechanic, Jim Brown – 1049 IBEW Assistant Business Manager, Bob DeMarinis – VP Maintain and Construction, William Kienle – Engineer, Gas Construction and Maintenance and Ryan Kienle – Engineer, Gas Construction and Maintenance


Vincent is currently in the Army Leadership course, hoping to become Sergeant very soon and then on to becoming a Drill Sergeant. 

*A challenge coin may be a small coin or medallion, bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and carried by the organization’s members. Traditionally, they might give to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. In addition, they are also collected by service members.

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