Originally posted 3/17/01



This photograph was sent by Kevin’s sister
for us to remember him. He left us six months ago.
He is gone…but not forgotten.

I would like to share with each of you this
‘white light moment, frozen in time.’

And there we have it.  Wrong rank on Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly’s tombstone, forms confirmed to have been completed by widow, Justine Velocci Lomonte Donnelly, RN, army veteran, National Calverton Cemetery, Riverhead, NY.

Captain Kevin Donnelly was denied the rank of ‘Major’ – Kevin told me he knew the denial was coming. 

How do I know?  Tina showed me the letter, removed for a few moments from her purse, the evening of his 2-hour wake, Dalton Funeral Home.  That’s how I know.

And there’s that.







My hopes are that Captain Kevin’s research, his illness, his path, and this picture will assist people who are ill or those dealing with the illness of someone close to them. 

My hopes are that we will comfort those with loved ones – who are gone. Now, I desire to motivate people and to share facts through education that many people do care for each of you. As the sister of someone who died with HCV, I am affected forever.

I am not ashamed of my brother’s illness with Hepatitis C, HCV, or how my brother died.

I will honor my Word that I gave to Kevin.  This message is part of my honor, integrity, his sincerity.

A year ago tonight, Kevin was typing, researching, sharing phone calls and emails with many of you.

            Six months ago tonight, he looked skyward and left us forever.

Tonight, he watches as you read this note.

The picture of Kevin’s ‘resting spot’ reflects a bright white light, over the American flag.

My hope is that this will be viewed as a ‘sign’ to ensure that people should not forget; should remember that when individuals work together, everything … even bright white lights on a tombstone … are possible.

The rank in the tombstone photo with 2nd Lt., sadly, is INCORRECT,

but a new tombstone will accurately reflect Kevin’s correct rank, Captain Kevin Drue Donnellysometime next year.  Paperwork for incorrect rank completed by his widow, Justine [Tina] Velocci Lomonte Donnelly, a veteran.

Until the correct tombstone is placed over his casket and until all his research is returned to the HCV community, our goal is to move forward together, united in fighting for those with HCV and for a future where Kevin advocated and worked so hard to assist veterans, and to educate politicians, professionals and us – family members.

Thank you for all your prayers and notes that continue to arrive.

Together, we will make a difference.

I would like this picture to be a witness of a special gift to us from
Kevin ‘himself’.

The ‘white light’ that looks down from that photograph is a testament to
my brother’s strength in life and even in death.”

Monette Benoit

            Proud sister of a Veteran who fought the good fight, died with HCV,

            and one who is still grieving for the lost friendship with her brother.