31 HS seniors from 7 LI schools honored for commitment to join armed forces

The nonprofit Our Community Salutes held a ceremony on Wednesday night to recognize high school enlistees of the armed services and their families.

Thema Ponton

May 16, 2024, 12:48 AM

Updated 11 days ago

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A total of 31 high school seniors from seven Long Island school districts were honored Wednesday for the commitment to join the armed forces.
The nonprofit 'Our Community Salutes' held the ceremony in East Patchogue to recognize the high school enlistees and their families.
"It's important that they feel that their kids are being honored for the choices that they made. This time of the year schools are celebrating kids who are going off to higher education, who have scholarships to Ivy League schools. This is just as important." said Robert Delvecchio, with Our Community Salutes.
News 12 spoke one-on-one with students being honored about their thoughts on joining the armed forces.
Patchogue Medford High School senior Faith Delgado said, "I'm a little nervous, but I'm excited, it's a journey and I'm ready to take it and it's going to be hard leaving my family."
Sachem High School East Baldric Pagan said, "I wanted to explore the world, I know it's very hard on my parents that I'm going to be going active duty."
Longwood High School senior Christopher Fuentes said, "I always said I wanted to be a solider and I guess I did follow my dream."
Newfield High School senior Weronika Karpio said, "I feel excited, I'm excited to you know start a new journey and everything, so, just overall good vibes."
Brigadier Gen. John Lloyd with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told News 12 it's also important to honor the sacrifice of the families of those who enlist.
Lloyd said, "I know what it is like as a parent to give up your son and daughter, where they can potentially be sent to harms way."
Weronika's mother Beata said, "I'm scared you know, I'm proud, but a little bit scared."
Some of the students tell News 12 they're nervous too, but also ready to honor their commitment.
Patchogue Medford High school seniors Ariana Cedeno said, "I'm definitely nervous, but...I see people you know, go to boot camp, come back and I see that they were able to do it...it builds up confidence in me that I'll be able to do it."


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