On Veterans Day, BHS salutes graduates Friday, November 25, 2011 By COLLEEN HAMILL ‘15
Veterans Day is a day to express gratitude and honor all the brave men and women who have served our country. We don’t honor just the brave men and women who currently give their service, but also all those who have served in the past. Right here in our own community—over 40 years ago—five heroes went into service during the Vietnam War and sacrificed their lives for our country. They were: Corporal Richard Patrick Frasca; First Lieutenant Joseph E.R. Neil; Specialist Five Bruce Richardson; Warrant Officer John Joseph Foden; and Corporal Thomas Arthur Palladino. More recently, Bellport High School lost one of its 2005 graduates in the war against Iraq. James E. Lundin, an army corporal whose life was lost at the young age of 20, was among the bravest of individuals. Lundin was known for having a strong view on the military. He believed that mothers and fathers should not be obliged to fight in the war—instead it was the duty of young men such as him. He registered to enlist in the Army months before his 18th birthday. Lundin was killed in May of 2007 when an explosive device struck his vehicle. Here at Bellport High School, we are also honored to have two former persons of service currently working with us. Ms. Lucas, an English teacher, served in the National Guard in 1999 on reserve basis while she attended college for her teaching degree until she was deployed to serve in Iraq in 2005. She returned in November of that year. The reasoning behind her years of service was that she felt a “sense of duty to do something for all those who have done for me and I am proud of my service.” Math teacher Mr. Langhan was an Army Ranger from 1992-’95. He traveled all over the world. He was then deployed for combat in Africa and went on to join the National Guard. This is where he found the path that would lead him to Bellport. “Service is where I first learned to be a teacher and found my way by using funding from the military to go back to school and get my teaching degree,” he said. Now he inspires his students to find and follow their own paths.