A recent Our Community Salutes event at the Brookside Manor in Feasterville honored 15 high school seniors who joined the military.
About 125 family members, friends, and community members attended.
Republican Dave McCormick, a West Point graduate, who joined the 82nd Airborne Division, served in Iraq in the Gulf War, and ran for Senate in 2022, spoke to the young recruits and gave them signed copies of his new book, “Superpower in Peril.”
“First of all, America needs you,” said McCormick. “What you’re about to do is very important.”
He later tweeted, “I am so impressed by your commitment to serve and know your time in uniform will be as memorable for you as it was for me. Thank you for answering the call to serve.”
McCormick is widely believed to be considering another U.S. Senate run in 2024.
Parent Jenny Mars read a poem about how she feels about being the parent of an enlisted person. “You filled my days with needs for which I could help. Then joined the military, and my heart melted. You may be taking this step and leaving my nest. But you are still a part of me—the part that’s the best!”
The Marine enlistees honored were David Ferry, Liam Robinson, Kayla Mayberry, Alex Moya, Daniel Rainville, Jordan Pearson, Ainsley Janonne-Naugler, Sam Riddle, Aaron Benjamin, Nabil Arkadan, and John Chavez.
The Army enlistees were Brayden Schneider, James Radyn (Army National Guard), Rosemarie Overholt (Army National Guard), and Daniel Harvey.
Aanya Joanne Moore, who organized the OCS event, said her son, Wayne Moore, has served in the Navy for 15 years, and she is active in the Coast Guard Axillary.
All of the enlistees were asked to have their parents stand by them. In a “wonderful moment,” each recruit presented their Blue Star mom with a red carnation and a Blue Star mom lapel pin and gave their dad an American flag pin. The recruits received challenge coins, wooden hang tags made by a veteran in Indiana from the American Veterans of Buckingham Springs, and an American flag flown over the Capitol.
“It was quite moving,” said Moore. “It not only recognizes the recruits, but it also involves their parents, who have no idea what will happen next, especially during boot camp.”
Moore, a New Hope resident, grew up with her late father, Stanley Magdalinski, who would remove shrapnel from places in his arms and legs as it worked its way out. She said the military doctors had wanted to amputate, but he wouldn’t let them.
Magdalinski did not talk much about his military experience, but he was injured when his tank was blown up during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II and received the Purple Heart.
“He was a man of few words,” she said. “But when he said something, it meant a lot. He said, ‘Why do we have to die to get recognized?”
“And he said, ‘It starts from the day that your dot your I’s and cross your T’s.’ So, I’ve always had a soft heart for the military.”
Her father passed away on Veteran’s Day, she said.
Cadet Gianna Mars sang the national anthem, and Kenneth J. Sylvester, ACS Chaplain, U.S. Coast Guard, gave the invocation. And Air National Guard Staff Sergeant David Jacoby served as master of ceremonies. Representatives from Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick’s office also attended.
Since 2009, OCS enlistee recognition ceremonies have been held by local communities nationwide. The events show appreciation f the young men and women who volunteer to serve in the military. Only 1 percent of Americans serve in uniform.