Honoring Our Heroes: John Fenech

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John Fenech, of Shoreham, fulfilled his childhood dream of serving his country by joining the Coast Guard in 1984.

One of Fenech's most notable missions was the search and recovery effort after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

All seven crew members were killed when the spacecraft broke apart and disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean on Jan. 28, 1986.

Fenech and fellow crew members aboard the Cutter Dallas were dispatched to search and recover the debris for NASA.

For their service during the operation, the Dallas received the Coast Guard's Meritorious Unit Commendation.

Today, Fenech serves on the board of Something Magic Foundation, which grants wishes to children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

Fenech is also a member of the Patriot Guard Riders. The group's mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen heroes as a show of respect to their families.

“Their loved ones signed up with a sense of service and yeah, we all know this could happen but when it does happen you really have to be there to support them because you owe this to them. We owe this to them,” said Fenech.

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