GREEN ISLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Green Island Union Free School District awarded 11 diplomas to veterans at an assembly at the Green Island American Legion Wednesday morning.
“You have to remember that when these guys went away, they went away as boys and came back as men. There was no time for them to go back to school and finish and get their diploma,” said the event organizer, Tom Mullins. “If we can give back like that, it means a great deal, not only to them, [but also] their families.”
Veteran Donald Brazee is one of the recipients. He enlisted in the Air Force before he was able to graduate high school, and was deployed to the Vietnam War.
“We did what we had to do,” Brazee told News10, “and we just hoped for the best.”
In addition to the 11 diplomas, six New York State awards were distributed.
One award wet to Alfred Trombly, a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman in the Korean Conflict. His daughter, Micki Basal, accepted the Purple Heart on his behalf.
“The first time he was wounded, he did throw his body over several other soldiers who he was administering care to,” Basal told News10, “and he put his own life at risk to attend to the other soldiers.”
News10 thanks Brazee, Trombly, and the other honorees for their service.