FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Surrounded by family, friends, veterans and local state and federal lawmakers, students from Fairfield Warde High School and Fairfield Prep were honored Tuesday for their decision to join the military.
Five students from around Fairfield County came together in a ceremony. Lawmakers presented them with flags and citations, and local veterans applauded their choice.
For Tom Dubrosky, commander of the Westport Veterans of Foreign Wars post, meeting the young men was a great experience.
“I think it’s very positive and great that there are still young people who want to go into the Army,” said Dubrosky, who fought in the Army during the Vietnam War.
Each student said that joining the military, whether the Army, Navy, ROTC or National Guard, has always been on his mind.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Gary Azarian of Fairfield. He will be joining the Army after graduating from Fairfield Warde this year.
It’s something different from what most of his peers are doing, said Fairfield Prep senior Patric Gerard of Stamford. Joining the Naval ROTC isn’t something that most people do, said Gerard, saying that he wanted to be part of something bigger. Another Fairfield Prep senior from Stamford, Andrew Scott, was also recognized at the event but was not there.
Shelton resident and soon to be graduate of Fairfield Prep Bjorn Davis said he comes from a family of Marines and that attending the Naval Academy has always been in the back of his mind.
“It’s an opportunity to continue serving,” Davis said.
Robin Ostrosky of Ridgefield is proud that her son Andrew is planning to join the Army ROTC in college. After making so many decisions to keep him safe in his childhood, his choice, which could put him in harm's way, “makes me very proud," she said.
Joining the Army felt like his true calling, she said. “I always wanted a job that was worth while."
The lawmakers in attendance at the ceremony said it was an honor to meet the teenagers who were choosing to serve in the military.
“I want to say to the families thank you for supporting and encouraging this ambition on their part,” U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said to the group. Other lawmakers echoed his sentiment and thanked the students for their commitment to serve.
Also in attendance were U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy; U.S. Rep. Jim Himes; state Reps. Tony Hwang, Brenda Kupchick and Kim Fawcett; and Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau. Each gave the students a citation, and Himes presented them each with an American flag that had flown over the Capitol building.