Continuing their ongoing program on behalf of troops overseas, patriotic students from the middle school’s Builders Club gathered at the East Islip Post Office on March 26 to ship a week’s worth of boxes of supplies destined for military personnel serving in Iraq.
After their shipping was complete, the students and club adviser Rena Costello enjoyed a pizza party with local veterans at Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi’s office.
“It’s great to see this club growing,” said Cilmi. “Ms. Costello is a patriot in the truest sense of the word and cares deeply about the men and women who so profoundly give of themselves to fight for the ideals that make this country great. It’s inspiring for me and it’s clearly inspiring for these young Americans. I couldn’t be more proud of these students.”
Marine Corps veteran Larry Gruttemeyer was one of several veterans who were impressed with the students’ drive and patriotism. “I was very proud to be invited to spend some time with these amazing American students,” he said. “Kudos to their families and teachers for doing a great job and to the students that are living the American Dream.”
“It was great to be at the post office to watch these boys and girls support our troops,” said Marine Corps Sgt. Jeff Bachmann, who served from 1980 to 1990. “Sharing a pizza with them at Legislator Cilmi’s office, we had the opportunity to tell them why what they’re doing is so important for the morale of the troops. It’s also just as important to us older veterans. We see the younger generation honoring our troops and caring, and that gives us hope and boosts our morale. There are days we really need it, and I’m grateful for what they’re doing.”
“Little things we take for granted every day are special to our troops,” added another Marines vet, Chick Ciccarelli. “It was an honor to be part of the day.”
Navy veteran Armen Enkababian said, “It was a real pleasure to spend time with students that care about those protecting our freedoms and way of life. Their willingness to collect items, prepare care packages and go to the post office to mail them sets an example for all of us to follow. They should be proud of what they do, and their teachers and parents should be congratulated for instilling in each of them the spirit of caring.”