City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Helping Our Heroes

Andy Barresse and Dave Faulkner Use Their Talents to Honor Fellow Veterans

The decorated and disabled Bridgewater veteran, who served his country in the Vietnam War, didn’t want to ask for help. 

His house had been severely damaged by the floodwaters of Hurricane Ida, and his insurance wasn’t enough to cover the repairs.

Army veterans Andy Barresse and Dave Faulkner didn’t hesitate to come to his aid. 

Barresse, the owner of Somerville-based Halo Painting & Maintenance, and Faulkner, the company’s project manager and estimator, found out about the situation from Melanie Dare, the owner of Salon Dare, which the veteran’s wife frequents, and working through Veterans Affairs, they marshaled the company’s forces, and along with other contractors, spent a week working on the inside of the man’s house.

While they were there with brushes and rollers applying custom colors, they exchanged service stories.

“He told us that he had three Purple Hearts and that he would have gotten a fourth, but he hid his wounds so he wouldn’t be sent home,” Barresse says. “He didn’t want to desert his fellow soldiers.”

Faulkner noted that the veteran probably had not told the story to many people but opened up because “he felt a connection to us; he knew that we would know what he was talking about.”

Every year, Barresse, who served 10 years in the U.S. Army and Army National Guard, and Faulkner, who was deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, do one big project that benefits New Jersey veterans. (In a previous year, they painted the interior of the Dudley House Veterans Transitional Housing Program in Plainfield.)

“It’s the most important thing we do,” Barresse says, adding that Halo always gives a 10 percent discount to customers who are veterans. “Whatever capacity of service you were in—chef, mechanic, pilot, soldier—we are all brothers and sisters for life, and we are soldiers through thick and thin. We look out for each other.”

Adds Faulkner: “We do whatever it takes.”

Barresse and Faulkner, who began painting as teenagers, say their own time in the service has had a profound effect on their personal and professional lives.

“I have applied many of the life lessons and discipline I learned from the Army in running my business,” Barresse says. “For one thing, I learned teamwork.”

Faulker, who joined the company three years ago after meeting Barresse at a painting workshop, adds perseverance to the list. 

“When things get tough, I don’t give up,” he says. “I try to find a solution, and I’m always guided by the Marine Corps motto ‘improvise, adapt and overcome.’”

That’s what Barresse has done throughout his career. Halo, which used to focus exclusively on painting under a different name, now has a home-maintenance unit that does everything from annual inspections to cleaning gutters and power washing houses. His son Andrew runs one of the work crews, and his daughter Heather is the office manager.

For the New Jersey natives—Barresse is from Parsippany, Faulkner is from Rockaway—service has been a family tradition. Barresse’s grandfather served in World War II, and his three uncles were in Vietnam. Faulkner’s grandfathers, too, fought in the war against Hitler.

The two say it’s really important to remember the sacrifices of veterans not only on November 11 but all year round.

“They are doing something for our country that others don’t want to do,” Faulkner says.

Donating time or money to various veterans organizations goes a long way toward expressing appreciation to those who serve.

“If you want to help, get involved, don’t sit back,” Barresse says. “A little contribution can save lives and make a difference for someone who saved your life.”

Faulkner notes that you don’t have to make a grand gesture such as painting the interior of a veteran’s house or joining the service. “You can do something as simple as stopping a uniformed person on the street to say thank you,” he says.

Learn more about Halo Painting & Maintenance at halopaintingcompany.com.

  • Andy Barresse, right, and his son, Andrew
  • Andy Barresse and Dave Faulkner
  • Dave Faulkner and Andy Barresse
  • Andy Barresse
  • Dave Faulkner
  • Andrew Barresse