Tag Archives: Marines

Students show soldiers their ‘gratitude’


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Students at a local Bayside elementary school have not forgotten their troops.

Youngsters at P.S. 130 have written more than 250 letters and collected some 180 items, along with 59 pounds of candy, to send to deployed military men and women as part of Operation Gratitude — a nonprofit, volunteer group’s mission to assemble and ship care packages to soldiers serving overseas.

“When you’re on a long deployment and you get some letters and cookies, it means a lot,” said Staff Sergeant Clayton Kramer. “When you’re in a rural part of the world, it’s easy to feel forgotten. When you see a care package show up from a school, it lets you know that what you’re doing means something to people.”

Kramer, a veteran of the United States Air Force and California Air National Guard, paid a visit to the tiny benefactors during a school assembly on November 10 to explain his role in protecting the country. He was joined by retired Marine Sergeant Matthew Engelhardt, who dumped out his rucksack and invited kids to test out the military equipment.

“It’s wonderful to educate the kids and explain to them what we do,” said Engelhardt, who served for eight years. “It’s wonderful to get letters out there, knowing that the kids appreciate what you do.”

This is the school’s second year participating, said Assistant Principal Laurie Careddu. Students in pre-kindergarten through third grade collected toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste and candy, wrote letters and decorated banners for the troops.

Kramer served in the Air Force as an aerospace maintenance crew chief and a signals analyst before joining the 129th Rescue Wing. Engelhardt was deployed twice to Iraq and had two tours in Okinawa, Japan.

The pair, who was showered with letters of thanks upon their drop-by, said the gratitude was touching.

“It actually kind of brings a tear to the corner of your eye,” Kramer said.

Weekend Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The-Afternoon-Roundup2

Man dies after jumping in front of subway train in Queens

A man died Friday after jumping in front of a Queens subway train, sources said. The victim, who was not immediately identified, leaped onto the tracks as an eastbound No. 7 train barreled into the 52nd St. station at Roosevelt Ave. in Woodside about 1:30 p.m., the sources said. Read more: Daily News

Feds interview Calif. filmmaker linked to anti-Islamic movie

A Southern California filmmaker linked to an anti-Islamic movie inflaming protests across the Middle East was interviewed by federal probation officers at a Los Angeles sheriff’s station but was not arrested or detained, authorities said early Saturday. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was interviewed at the station in his hometown of Cerritos, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Don Walker said. Read more: NY Post

Two U.S. Marines killed at Afghanistan base where Prince Harry is stationed

Heavily-armed insurgents attacked a British air base in southern Afghanistan Friday, killing two U.S. Marines and wounding several other troops, U.S. officials said. Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, is stationed at the base on a four-month combat tour in Afghanistan. Read more: Daily News

Accused serial arsonist under arrest

A man accused of setting off 13 separate fires in Queens is now under arrest. Thien Dinh, 43, is charged with arson, reckless endangerment and burglary. Fire marshals say he has 45 prior arrests for burglary and property damage. Read more: NY1

Queens 18-year-old files $10 million lawsuit against city, alleging cops botched her restraining order

A Queens woman who was stabbed by her ex-lover is suing the city over claims cops failed to enforce a restraining order. Last June, Daniel Paguay, 21, attacked the 18-year-old in her Corona home, dragging her out of bed to a nearby grocery store, where he used her as a human shield before plunging a 10-inch knife into her back three times, police said. Read more: Daily News

Rescue crews conduct search off Queens for diver

Rescue crews took to the waters off Breezy Point, Queens on Friday night after a diver was reported missing that morning. New York City Police Department boats and personnel from the Fire Department and the Coast Guard scoured the area Friday morning. Read more: NY1 

Local official team up to help during Holiday Toy, Coat and Food Drive


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember James Gennaro

A joint effort across eastern Queens is attempting to provide children and their families with warm bodies, full stomachs and plenty of presents to open on Christmas.

Councilmember James Gennaro united with New York Cares service events manager Joseph Salas, Marine Corps Staff Sergeants Daniel Sweeney and David Bonney of the Sixth Communications Battalion and other community leaders on December 2 to initiate his annual Holiday Toy, Coat and Food Drive.

“It seems like this is the least we can do, particularly when times are very tough,” said Gennaro, whose drive will last through December 16. “We feel the people who give get more out of it than those who receive.”

During the event, the Marines delivered collection boxes for their Toys for Tots program to the councilmember’s office, where coats are also being gathered for donation to New York Cares.

“I’d like to thank the councilmember for his continued support,” said Salas. “We have partnered with the councilmember for quite a few years and to see the continued support is inspiring.”

Food is also being collected at Gennaro’s office, located at 185-10 Union Turnpike in Fresh Meadows, for donation to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Roman Catholic Church in Jamaica and the Samuel Field Y in Little Neck.

“Even in these very difficult and challenging times, it’s very comforting and reassuring to know our community is a responsive, caring community and our elected officials take a role in making sure needs are met,” said Steven Goodman, executive vice president of the Samuel Field Y.

Along with Gennaro’s office, donations can also be made at Senator Toby Ann Stavisky’s office, located 144-36 Willets Point Boulevard in Flushing, Assemblymember Rory Lancman’s office, at 159-16 Union Turnpike in Hillcrest, or the headquarters of Community Board 8, located at 197-15 Hillside Avenue in Hollis.