The “Our Community Salutes” Brookhaven Chapter held its second annual High School Enlistee Recognition Ceremony at Sunset Harbour on May 19, 2016. More than 230 people attended to be the first to say thank you to 19 graduating seniors from five Brookhaven Town high schools for the service that they are about to undertake. The high schools represented were William Floyd, Patchogue-Medford, Bellport, Center Moriches and Longwood.
“It was an absolute honor to be part of the second annual ‘Our Community Salutes’ Brookhaven Town event to thank and recognize the brave young men and women who will serve and protect our country in the Armed forces after graduation,” said Robert Vecchio, President, William Floyd Board of Education and Co-chair of Our Community Salutes Brookhaven Town.
Guest speakers for the evening included New York State Senator (3rd District) and U.S. Navy Commander (Reserves) Tom Croci and U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Michele S. Jones (the ninth person to achieve this rank and the first woman), who also served as a member of the Senior Executive Service under President Obama from 2009-2012. Senator Croci presented the first Tom and Jo-Ann Croci Foundation Enlistee Scholarship to William Floyd High School senior, Scott Amato, who will serve in the United States Marine Corps.
The second General Colin L. Powell Service award was given to William Floyd High School Naval Science Instructor Senior Chief Dwight Becherer. The award is in recognition for outstanding service and commitment to students who enlist in the military after graduation. Senior Naval Science Instructor Commander Jay Tweed (USN/RET.) received the inaugural award last year.
Congratulations to all the student enlistees and their families. The Brookhaven Chapter of Our Community Salutes and the William Floyd School District is deeply grateful for their upcoming service. In addition to receiving an “Our Community Salutes” Challenge Coin, the honorees received certificates, proclamations, flags and more as thanks for their upcoming service. The William Floyd High School Building Trades & Construction Academy also created specialty picture frames for the honorees for the occasion.
The enlistees representing each of the branches of the Armed Forces include:
William Floyd High School students Scott Amato, Tyler Baudier, Alexander Cruz-Perez, William Ladolcetta, Michael Murphy, Terrell Sinclair and Alexis Wallace; Center Moriches High School students Deny Amaya, James Giarraputo, Janneth Abril-Guambana, Jacob Klaus, Dion Kennedy and Jonas Marrello; Patchogue-Medford High School students Jacob Bernocco, Jillian McCabe and Shaun O’Mara; Longwood High School students Cameron McLeod and Caleb Richters; and Bellport High School student Adam Erkan.
Members of the Our Community Salutes Brookhaven Town Chapter Committee include: Robert Vecchio, Co-Chair, President of the William Floyd Board of Education; Jill Gross, Co-Chair; Beth Wahl, President of the William Floyd Community Summit, Committee Member; Barbara Butler, William Floyd High School Principal, Committee Member; Jay M. Tweed, CDR/USN (Ret.), Committee Member; Robert Guerriero, William Floyd Board of Education Trustee, Committee Member; and Christine Rignola, Trustee, Patchogue-Medford Board of Education, Committee Member.
Special thanks to the sponsors whom without them this event would not be possible:
DiCarlo Food Service, Island Outreach Foundation, Senator Tom Croci, Seafield Services, Precision International Automotive Products, Apex Consulting Services, Bond, Schoeneck & King; Empire National Bank; as well as All American Eagle Building Maintenance; Amvets of Patchogue Post #111; Bob and Karen Lee; Brookhaven Town (Supervisor Romaine and Councilmen Panico, Foley and Loguercio; Colonel (Ret.) Geoffrey Slack and Deborah Slack; Cor-Ace Realty and Ace Builders; Kiwanis Club of Patchogue; JR Mobile Marine; Lion’s Club of Patchogue; Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning; Mastic Beach Ambulance Co.; Mastic-Shirley Chamber of Commerce; Mediterranean Manor; Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers; Robert & Kathy Miller in memory of Robert Miller Sr.; Rotary Club of Shirley and the Mastics; South Country Ambulance Co.; William Floyd Alumni Association; and William Floyd United Teachers.
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Scroll through more photos of the evening below!