BY JOE MARVILLI
During Thanksgiving week, a Bayside school gave thanks to and honored three U.S. soldiers for their service.
The ceremony at PS 130 was the culmination of the school’s Operation Gratitude drive – a yearly collection of supplies and letters that are sent out to soldiers around the holiday season. The special assembly had hundreds of kids asking questions to and watching presentations from three members of the U.S. military.
The three honorees who spoke at the assembly were U.S. Army Master Sergeant Robert Frame, Rocky Ramdyal of the U.S. Navy, Aviation Electronics Technician Petty Officer 1st Class, and Wubin Laio, U.S. Navy Logistics Specialist. Frame served two tours in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division and is now in charge of operations for the U.S. Corps of Cadets at the West Point military academy. Ramdyal has been with the Navy for 15 years and now works as a recruiter in downtown Flushing. Laio works at the same recruitment station, after serving a four-year tour of duty in Japan.
The students were fascinated by what the soldiers had to tell them, with many raising their hands to ask questions. One of the kids asked Frame why he is a soldier.
“My father was a soldier during the Vietnam War and he used to tell me stories about serving his country,” Frame said. “I decided to join the Army because I wanted to defend this great nation from those who would seek to do it harm. And I love my job.”
The soldiers were glad to see the students were taking such an interest in their roles.
“It’s nice to see enthusiasm from younger students,” Ramdyal said.
For this year’s Operation Gratitude, PS 130 collected 150 letters, 126 pounds of candy, 150 toothbrushes and 75 packages of dental supplies.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Joey788.