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Remembering NCO McNaughton

Hundreds gather annually to remember the life of fallen soldier, police office

For almost a decade, friends, family, Police Departments and the United States Army have been showing their support and gratitude for fallen hero, James D. McNaughton, a former U.S. soldier and NYPD officer, who was killed in Iraq in 2005. McNaughton’s best friend, Vinny Zecca, has been organizing a benefit concert and fundraising event at Mulcahy’s Music Hall in Wantagh for the past seven years. Both local performers and the New York Shields Pipes and Drums Band have requested each year to participate in McNaughton’s honor. Slide shows and poster boards displayed photographs of him from his childhood up to his time in the army, giving attendees a glimpse into the life of someone who sacrificed his life for his country. 

McNaughton’s former sergeants and command officers all agreed that they watched him grow from a shy, quiet NCO to an outspoken and responsible senior NCO after a mere two months. Retired Maj. Command Sgt. Mike Donohue said McNaughton always had the moral authority and respect of the other soldiers. “Jimmy was always out in the front, never hiding,” he said. The mission that led to his death was something for which McNaughton had no prior experience.” 

“He volunteered for the mission and even though he never had done a job like that before, he excelled,” said Donohue. 

Commanding Officer John Hussey, who worked with McNaughton for two years, described him as an old school soldier who lived the army values. “Jimmy was a true leader and took his tasks very seriously,” he said. 

McNaughton is an inspiration to many who had the opportunity of working closely with him. First Class Sgt. Patrick Venetek, a close friend and fellow soldier became an NYPD Officer because of him. “He was all business, all work,” Venetek said. “The reason who I am today is because of Jimmy.” 

Sergeant Catarino Rodriquez visits McNaughton at Calverton Cemetery twice a year and described him as someone who has a lasting impact on many soldiers who are currently serving. “Guys still bring their children to see Jimmy at the cemetery and some have even named their children after him,” Rodriguez said. 

All the money raised will go to the Wounded Warrior Project, to the Long Island 9-1-1 Veterans, to the James McNaugton Foundation and to victims of Hurricane Sandy.


News

After graduating from MacArthur High School in the fall of 1994, United States Marine Corps Veteran Sgt. Peter D’Angelo attended one semester at C.W. Post before he decided to drop out and join the military. 

 

“I couldn’t afford it,” D’Angelo said, “so I enlisted.”

 

Once finished with his basic training at Paris Island, S.C., D’Angelo was assigned to an administrative position in Arlington, Va. There, Deangelo would be put in charge of payroll... until one day when opportunity knocked. 

Residents are in a fervor over Nassau County’s recent decision to remove 176 oak trees along a mile-and-a-half stretch of Seaman’s Neck Road.

 

“It’s outrageous,” said local resident Lee Gardner. “It changed the entire landscape.”

 

Like most of her neighbors, Gardner said she was shocked, since the county did not notify residents. 


Sports

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its fourth tournament on Thursday Aug. 7. We had 33 golfers and a record 8  who scored under 40.  Low overall score was won by newcomer Ed Hyne with an impressive 33, his second low net in a row. Charlie Acerra scored a solid 35, and won low overall net with a 26; his best score in 4 years.

 

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more.  The league is a 100 % handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season. The league meets every Thursday at 7:30 a.m., but the formal tournament dates are only the first and third Thursday of the month through late October. We will have a final luncheon with prizes on our last meeting.

Golfer Annie Park, 19, of Levittown came close at the U.S. Women’s Amateur tourney, but missed the cut, finishing at 149, 9 strokes over par and just one stroke away from the match-play cut-off. 

 

“I couldn’t make any putts, so then I had more pressure into my shots to get it closer,” Park said, “but obviously that’s not going to work.”


Calendar

Island Trees Board of Education - August 20

Theatre: The Normal Heart - August 22

KC and the Sunshine Band - August 23


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com