Students at Lynbrook North Middle School received a special surprise on March 2. Master Sgt. Miriam Carpio-Hospedales from the United States Air Force visited the school to present an American Flag to the students and social studies teacher James O’Hara. Sgt. Carpio-Hospedales recently returned home from a six-month deployment in the middle east. Her son, Jared Hospedales, is a seventh grader at the school.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak, staff and local dignitaries including Lynbrook Mayor Alan Beach, Deputy Mayor Michael Hawxhurst, Police Chief Brian Paladino and Lynbrook VFW member Patrick Cardone, were present for the ceremony and each personally thanked Sgt. Carpio-Hospedales for her service.
Lynbrook North Middle School Principal Sean Fallon addressed the students as he spoke about the importance of helping others through volunteering or through a future career in the military. He also provided some background on Sgt. Carpio-Hospedales’ service. Mr. Fallon commended her for the personal sacrifices she has had to make, including being away from her family.
“It’s hard to imagine taking that sacrifice on willingly and volunteering for it but without people like you, we don’t have the country that we have,” Mr. Fallon said to Sgt. Carpio-Hospedales. “So, from me to you, thank you so much for everything that you are doing.”
Members of Lynbrook North Middle School’s select chorus students performed the Star Spangled Banner and Mr. Fallon invited Sgt. Carpio-Hospedales to the podium to share her story and the reason why she was there. She explained that before her deployment last year, Mr. O’Hara’s sixth grade social studies class, including her son Jared, wrote her thank you letters and offered words of encouragement. Jared and his classmates also took photos during a lesson on the American Flag. Mr. O’Hara delivered the letters and photos to Sgt. Carpio-Hospedales the night before she was deployed. During her deployment, she displayed all of the photos and letters from the students around her bed to remind her of home.
“It’s good to know that you live in a community where you take care of each other,” she said. “I didn’t have to worry about Jared, I didn’t have to worry about anything with school. You are all wonderful teachers and I cannot thank you enough for looking out for my son.”
Sgt. Carpio-Hospedales presented an American Flag to Mr. O’Hara which was flown over Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Kuwait. She thanked him, the students and staff for all their support during her time of deployment and for everything they did for her son while she was away.
Mr. O’Hara expressed his gratitude and reminded students of how important the American Flag is. He also recognized Sgt. Carpio-Hospedales’ son Jared for the sacrifices he has made. The kind gesture from Sgt. Carpio-Hospedales brought the school and community together. The American Flag is framed and will be on display in the school for all to see.