Sachem Middle Schools Support Troops
Sachem Supports The Troops was a district-wide collaboration between all four Sachem Middle Schools: Samoset, Sequoya, Sagamore and Seneca. Each middle school sold Sachem Supports The Troops t-shirts to help benefit The Team Jesse Foundation and local veterans’ organizations. Almost 2,000 shirts were sold. All students and faculty who purchased a shirt wore them Friday before Veteran’s Day at each respected middle school to show community support to the troops and honor our veterans this Veteran’s Day weekend.
The combined proceeds from this fundraiser nearly reached $10,000. Eileen Tang and Ron and Karen Mincio from The Team Jesse Foundation were presented with a $1,500 check by the students and faculty at Seneca. The event was spearheaded by Seneca teacher and coach Brian Harvey.
The Team Jesse Foundation was started on a promise made by Kevin Mincio, a former Sachem graduate, Class of ’89, and friend of Staff Sgt. Jesse Williams. Kevin and Jesse served alongside each other in Iraq. Mincio made a promise to Jesse to take care of his daughter if anything was ever to happen to him. Unfortunately, Staff Sgt. Williams was killed by a sniper in Iraq. In response, Kevin started The Team Jesse Foundation to make good on his promise but more importantly, to help families of the fallen.
Also in attendance were some local veterans of foreign wars: Jack Holt who fought in WWII, Sal Nicosia was part of the occupation forces that landed in Japan towards the close of WWII, Sal Murolo who served in Korea and who is a member of the “Chosen Few”, and Tom Wharton a Veteran of the War in Vietnam.
These men were honored by the students and faculty at Seneca for their service and devotion to our country. After the pledge to the flag, Hannah Harvey, a first grade student from Tamarac, sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag” to the audience which included Superintendent Jim Nolan and Assistant Superintendent Paul Manzo. Manzo himself is an active Major in the Army.
Following the check presentation, the veterans stayed to answer questions posed by students and the Seneca faculty. It was remarkable to witness the students and faculty interacting and learning from living and breathing primary sources.
Sequoya Middle School also hosted a veteran’s walk on Friday afternoon.
Seneca Principal Gemma Salvia: “This was a great opportunity for our students to talk with some of the Veterans and to hear about their experience. It was truly a wonderful way for our students to gain insight on what Veterans’ Day is really all about. Today, everyone walked away with a greater appreciation for all those who served our country and for those who continue to do that each day.”
Seneca Social Studies Chair Pamela Bowman: In honor of those who have so bravely served this country, Seneca Middle School students participated in a very special assembly. Mr. Brian Harvey, was the catalyst behind this celebration and brought together, a multi-generational gathering including United States Veteran’s from World War II, the Korean War and the war in Vietnam. These real life heroes responded to questions from students such as rank, country served and “rough areas” that they served in. This was an honor to have these men interact with Seneca students.