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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

In response to the county’s fly-by-night decision to remove 176 old oak trees along Seaman’s Neck Road, earlier this month, New York State Sen. Kemp Hannon has issued a letter to Nassau County Department of Public Works Commissioner Shila Shah-Gavnoudias regarding constituents’ concerns with the appearance of the roadway.

In his letter, Hannon asks Commissioner Shah-Gavnoudias if the removal of the trees were under the jurisdiction of LIPA or PSEG.

“If not, I would like to know who made the decision to remove these trees and why,” Hannon states. “I request you review this case and take whatever course of action necessary.”

U.S. Navy Veteran Richard Meyerowitz of Levittown joined the military in 1962, enlisting straight out of high school. While he would never see combat, Meyerowitz served as a boilerman aboard the U.S.S. Dewey amid the United States’ blockade of Cuba.

“They gave us our orders,” Meyerowitz said, “turn any vessels away. If not, blow ‘em out of the water.”

During the blockade, Meyerowitz said he only encountered one ship, which they warned to turn back. Just a kid at the time, Meyerowitz said it didn’t occur to him at the time, how the country could have been on the verge of nuclear war.


Sports

Christopher Joseph of Levittown was recently selected to play on the United States world university hockey team in Italy this year. A 2009 MacArthur High School graduate, Joseph was captain of his high school team for two seasons, leading them to two championships. Joseph would later go on to play junior hockey for New York Apple Core and the New Jersey Rockets junior ‘A’ team.

Joseph’s parents, Hal and Theresa, along with his brother Robert and sister Kristin said they are very proud of Christopher’s accomplishments and are cheering him on as he heads off to Italy.

Farmingdale State College had four players named to the 2014 D3baseball.com All-New York Team. Senior outfielder Edward Bergmann of East Meadow, earned First Team honors, while junior shortstop Anthony Alvino of Lindenhurst was named to the Second Team. Junior outfielder Michael Marino of Franklin Square and sophomore pitcher Alex Weingarten of East Rockaway also earned Third Team honors this year.

Bergmann batted a team-leading .421 this season and also led the Rams in hits (53), runs scored (42), doubles (8), on-base percentage (.503), stolen bases (30) and held a perfect fielding percentage. Nationally, Bergmann ranks 4th for stolen bases per game (0.88), 10th in stolen bases, 23rd in both on-base percentage and batting average and 29th in runs scored per game (1.21).


Calendar

BOE Planning Session

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Bad Seed Auditions

Thursday, Aug. 28

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs

Friday, Aug. 29



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