Retired USMC Captain Lewis H. Palumbo at the Tampa Bay Lightning game against the San Jose Sharks on February 7.

Lewis Palumbo has given a lifetime of service to his country and community. He celebrated his 91st birthday, along with his wife of 72 years, Virginia, this past June.

The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Palumbo on the ice with the honor guard before their game against the San Jose Sharks on February 7.

Lewis’s longtime friend, Ken Muzyk, brought him to the game and surprised him with the honor.

“You may never meet someone of that caliber your whole life. He’s not one of those guys that wants to be patted on the back, but he was in awe, and he was grateful,” Muzyk said.

A career Marine, Palumbo is a veteran of the Korean War, Vietnam War and Cuban conflict. Palumbo enlisted in the Marines in 1949. While fighting as part of the 4th Battalion of the 1st Marine Division, he was wounded in the Korean War Battle of Chosin Reservoir and received the Purple Heart. Following the Korean War, he served in the Howitzer Battery and the 2nd Signal Battalion of the 2nd Marine Division, among other units. He received his commission as a second lieutenant in 1966. He retired as a captain in 1979 after working with the National Security Agency.

While Palumbo retired from military service in 1979, he never stopped serving. He lives up to the U.S. Marine Corps motto, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” According to the US Marine Corps website: “There truly is no such thing as a former Marine, as after service our Marine Veterans are just as dedicated to advancing our Nation and defending its ideals.”

Palumbo volunteered tirelessly for 22 years with TOPSoccer, a recreational sports program for children with disabilities, and THORN (Thankfully Helping Others’ Real Needs) Ministries, which feeds the homeless in the Tampa area. Palumbo also regularly volunteered at the Nativity Catholic Church Food Pantry.

THORN founder Kristin Taylor said Palumbo has a big heart for others, especially homeless veterans.

“Seeing homeless veterans never sat right with him, so … he would quietly collect metal to sell to buy socks for the guys. Lew is simply the father and husband everyone could ever hope for. The friend and mentor you thank God for every time you see his face. He is the most honorable yet humble man I’ve ever known,” Taylor said.

Previous articleNorth Brandon YMCA Gymnasts Place First In Gasparilla Classic
Next articleOutreach Free Clinic And Resource Center In Brandon Provides Free Medical Care