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View Diary: It's okay if you are Joe Zarelli (128 comments)

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    The cash payments stem from seven years Zarelli spent in the U.S. Navy during the 1980s, when he had some peacetime deployments.

    Zarelli said he injured his back while on a ship and that the pain is now chronic, though he is still able to golf, hike and fish - and he spends much of his free time maintaining his six-acre property in Ridgefield. He said he's learned various ways to manage the pain over time.

    "You can do a lot of things - but you pay the price," Zarelli said. "For a while, every so often, my back would simply go out on me and I couldn't move."

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