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Tom Belton to Retire after serving 13 Years as Director of Veterans Services

|   City News

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris announced today that longtime Veterans Services Director Tom Belton will be retiring after a distinguished 13-year career as Director. Belton submitted his retirement letter on January 23, 2024, stating that he had been considering retirement from City service for some time.

Belton, who was nominated to serve as director by Mayor Sarno in 2011, is a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps.  He graduated from Technical High School and holds two master’s degrees from American International College.  He joined the Marine Corps after graduating from high school and served during the Vietnam War where in 1968, he was wounded in action and awarded the Purple Heart.  He earned a meritorious promotion to Sergeant in 1969 and was discharged from the Marines in 1970.  Belton received numerous awards, merits, medals and campaign ribbons for his service, including the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.  Belton was also named the City of Springfield Veteran of the Year in 2003.

Mayor Sarno states, “I want to thank Tom Belton for his dedication, commitment and service to our country and our City of Springfield.  As Director of our Veterans Services Department, Tom, a proud Marine, was always the professional and willing to assisting our veterans and their families with the services they are in need of with passion and care.  As he mentioned in his retirement letter, he had been considering retirement from City government for some time and feels now is the time.  On behalf of the City of Springfield we wish him good health and continued success.  Thank you, Tom, for all that you have done for our city, especially for our veterans and their families.”

HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris stated, “Tom Belton, a decorated Marine Corp veteran, has served our country and our city with honor and distinction.  He has served as our Director of Veterans Services for almost 13-years, and his passion and dedication to helping our veterans and their families was always his driving force.  Tom truly cares for our veterans.  He is proud of the work he and his dedicated staff have done to support our veterans and their families, and also honoring their memory with the various veteran memorial events the department holds year-round.  He had expressed to me for some time that he was considering retirement and I wish him nothing but the best and continued good health.  Thank you, Tom, for your caring and compassionate service.”   

Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris will name Deputy Director of Veterans Services Joe DeCaro as the acting-Director for the Veterans Services Department, and will submit his nomination for confirmation to the City Council.  DeCaro was appointed by Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris as Deputy Director in 2020.  DeCaro, a United States Coast Guard Veteran, previously served as an Investigator for the Department of Veterans Services. 

Mayor Sarno states, “HHS Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and I are proud to nominate Joe DeCaro as the Director for our Veterans Services Department.  Joe has been an integral part of office operations and management.  He is very active for our veterans and in the community, volunteering his time to help with numerous veteran programs and events.  He truly loves the work he does and helping our veterans.  I am hopeful that the City Council will confirm his appointment.  Joe will continue to serve our veterans and Springfield community with honor, integrity and with distinction in this new capacity.”

Joe DeCaro stated, “I want to thank Mayor Sarno and Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris for their belief and confidence in my abilities to serve as the next Director of our Veterans Services Department.  I also want to thank Director Tom Belton, a proud Marine, for his leadership.  It has been an honor to serve as his deputy for the past 3 plus years.  I am looking forward to continuing to serve all of our veterans and their families, helping to connect them with the services they need.”      

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm