FAIRFIELD, NJ — Angelo Scalo of Fairfield, a decorated Vietnam veteran and 4th Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus, was recently became the second person in 2019 to benefit from the A.J. Perri Cares outreach program, which provides free heating, A/C and air-quality relief for veterans in need across New Jersey.
Family-run HVAC and plumbing company A.J. Perri has been providing this service for several years, providing and installing air conditioners, heating systems, smart-home technology and air filtration systems for over numerous military families. However, the team at A.J. Perri says the important story is not A.J. Perri Cares, but the personal tales of these veterans who sacrificed so much for their country.
During the Vietnam War, Scalo served in a boat unit that extracted downed soldiers and airmen in the Vietnam deltas and upriver, directly saving the lives of his fellow servicemen. By spending so much time in active war zones, however, Scalo was exposed to dangerous amounts of Agent Orange that eventually left his lungs and heart irreparably damaged.
Since the early 1970s, the Fairfield resident has been on assisted oxygen and homebound, as his weakened immune system does not allow him to be exposed to the public.
Nevertheless, even when faced with great challenges to his physical wellbeing that isolated him from the world outside his home, Scalo refused to turn away from his community, according to A.J. Perri. He has been a member of the Knights of Columbus for decades and is also a Fourth Degree member, conferring the title of Sir Knight.
Each of the four degrees corresponds to and indicates a member exemplifies one of the four principles of the Order: charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. According to the Knights of Columbus, less than one-fifth of all members join the final Fourth Degree, which encourages active citizenship in members’ communities.
Scalo is also the chairman of the local Knights chapter’s wheelchair program, which provides disability equipment assistance and other forms of aid to veterans and others in need.
According to A.J. Perri, Scalo has faced incredible challenges and hardship in his life as a result of his service to the United States. The company said in a press release that it was "happy to contribute and install a whole-home generator and central air conditioner so he can live in comfort."
"The company wishes the best to Sir Knight Angelo, his family and his brothers at the Knights of Columbus," the company wrote.
For more information about A.J. Perri, click here.