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Falcons dine with the finest

October 9, 2019
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

On Oct. 2, two lunch periods at Fitch High School had some special guests. Thirty veterans and active duty military members showed up to dine with Fitch students. Each veteran selected a separate table and students were quick to fill in and converse with them.

"This is the third year for this program," said Marine veteran Ken Jakubec.

It was Jakubec that presented the idea to veteran's groups and to the school. He said everyone was on board with it and helped pull it together.

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Fitch senior Riley Galloway and junior Christian Swarm enjoyed lunch and conversation with John Turner who served in the U.S. Army, the Air Force, and the Navy, ranging a time span from Vietnam to the Iraq wars. He jokingly told the students “they kept getting rid of me, so I went to the next branch.”

The students enjoyed the day and learned a lot. Many asked about what it was like in war. Others asked about uniforms and medals the veterans were wearing. A good example was U.S. Army veteran Wes Westmoreland, who earned two purple hearts while serving in Vietnam.

Some veterans were lucky enough to dine with family members. Leo Connolly Jr., a Purple Heart recipient from his service in the Vietnam War was able to dine with his nephew, Fitch sophomore Anthony Colantone. He even issued Anthony a special Purple Heart support pin to wear for the day.

Jakubec said he plans to keep the program going as it is a win-win for both students and the veterans. He said he will also try to keep it going during Spirit Week at Fitch, which ran Sept. 30 through Oct. 4.



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