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Pingry Students Pay Tribute to Veterans
gwaxberg

students listening to presentation
Prior to Veterans Day on November 11, Pingry students on both campuses took time to honor the brave men and women of our Armed Forces.


To open the Lower School's assembly, members of Student Government filed into the gymnasium, led by Alex Wong '25 carrying the U.S. flag; everyone recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang The Star-Spangled Banner; and Grades 4 and 5 sang John Riggio's "We Will Not Forget." Assistant Headmaster-Short Hills Campus and Lower School Director Ted Corvino P '94, '97, '02 then gave a short talk about the importance of honoring our veterans and, by extension, living honorably ourselves: "They [veterans] stand up for the things we stand up for as a country. Few things are more American than doing something for someone else . . . You can honor them by doing something for someone else every day."

Jason Foster and Ryan WillseyOn the Basking Ridge Campus, Ryan Willsey '18, who founded Pingry's Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Club in 2015, introduced Jason Foster, who proudly served his country for nine years as a combat medic in the U.S. Army. "Jason was dedicated to his service and helping to protect his brothers and sisters in arms," Ryan said. "Jason's plans of a life in the military were cut short when doctors discovered a quarter-sized brain bleed in his right frontal lobe. As a result, he was medically retired as a sergeant in October 2011. When he returned home, Jason felt he lacked purpose and struggled to find the right path, but, through the support of his family and Wounded Warrior Project, Jason was able to find his way out of the dark."

Recalling the medical support he provided during three tours of duty in Iraq, Sergeant Foster declared that the entire time he spent in the military was devoted to service—helping people—so medical retirement filled him with questions. "I needed to make a difference. My purpose was to serve others," he said, and he found that outlet working with WWP. Addressing his Pingry audience, he urged the students to improve their community.

 

"More often than not, your actions might go unnoticed, but they make a difference. Everything you do, matters. You have unique talents that you can use to give back. Look out for one another. Do something today that will make the next time you turn on the TV a little better. Be a genuinely good person." And, bringing Ryan back on stage to thank him for his efforts, Sergeant Foster concluded, "This is what service looks like."

 

The assembly closed as everyone stood for the playing of Taps and a moment of silence.

Top photo: The Lower School's assembly. Bottom photo: Jason Foster and Ryan Willsey '18.

 

Contact: Greg Waxberg '96, Communications Writer, gwaxberg@pingry.org