Photo by Ms. Sullivan
Annual Pay it Forward Veteran’s Day Breakfast honors 125 veterans
November 20, 2017
As the hometown veterans walked into the high school cafeteria on Veteran’s Day, they were welcomed by friendly greeters at the front door, creative patriotic posters, and personal letters from both elementary and high school students.
The Pay it Forward Club, directed by House 4 Assistant Principal Ms. Sullivan, take it upon themselves each year to put on a ceremonial breakfast for all the Londonderry veterans. The attendance of the first breakfast six years ago was 20 veterans, and this year 125 veterans attended.
Since Sullivan grew up in Londonderry, she said she enjoys being able to give back to the veterans in town.
“It’s rewarding to give them one day of appreciation,” she said.
Being the daughter of a Navy veteran, as well as being brought up in a big family with a long line of Navy relatives, inspired Ms. Sullivan to create something to honor these men and women.
“I wanted learn more about what some of these guys went through,” Sullivan said. “I could not ever think to do what they did.”
The efforts by Sullivan and the Pay it Forward club were certainly appreciated by the veterans, especially ones who attended for the first time.
Air Force veteran Greg LeBlanc could not say enough good things about his first Veteran’s Day Breakfast experience.
“The turnout drew in a lot of people, and the students that were there were very attentive in their participation,” he said. “I liked to see the students talking to veterans. They seemed very sincere.”
During the breakfast, LeBlanc was able to be taken back and reflect on the times during his service.
“[The breakfast] made me think of the sacrifices that others made that I was not able to make. They did a lot more than I did,” LeBlanc said. “I felt honored by the breakfast. It made me think of others overseas broken up from their families. I’ll definitely show up early next year.”
Army veteran Ernie D’Ambrosia was also very glad that he was able to attend and was impressed with how the breakfast was set up.
“The food itself was very good, and the baskets were done very nicely,” he said.
Each veteran received a basket, which were donated by various clubs and community members. Some of the themed baskets included lottery tickets, car cleaning supplies, and non perishable foods. Overall, the meaning of the baskets goes deeper than a free gift. They are given to show the community’s endless appreciation for each veteran’s service.
“I felt very honored,” D’Ambrosia said. “Everybody was very cordial.”