11/20/2013 12:16:00 PM Veteran flies in to speak at middle school
From left, McFarland Middle School principal Dennis Adams, Katelynne Martuscelli and Jeffrey Martuscelli, Fourth Infantry Division Aviation Officer. Submitted Photo.
Student Katelynne Martuscelli got a special treat at McFarland Middle School's Veterans Day assembly Nov. 5. Her dad Jeffrey Martuscelli, a Fourth Infantry Division Aviation Officer currently stationed at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs, Colo., stopped by the school to speak at the assembly. People were coming up to her all day and telling her to say thank you to her dad for them. They wanted to let both of them know they were thankful for his service. "I got really famous at school that day," she said. He is a 22-year veteran of the United States Army. He has earned many awards and decorations and has served a combat tour in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Her dad spoke to the school about what it was like serving his country. He also talked about how things like care packages can go a long way. One time, he received a bar of soap in the mail. Something small, but it meant a lot to him. K. Martuscelli said she wrote a letter to a soldier overseas in her English class. Her teacher was so touched by the letter, he sent a letter to his dad, who had also served in the military. People do all sorts of things for soldiers, everything from paying their bill at a restaurant to helping them out with their groceries. It's not something her father expects, but he always really appreciates when someone helps him out, she said. J. Martuscelli has been serving for a lot of years and wouldn't take anything back, he said. He told the students flying an Apache at night is one of the greatest things in the world. He enlisted in the Army when he was 19, K. Martuscelli said. He was a distinguished graduate of armor basic and advanced training at Ft. Knox, Ky. He has served numerous positions throughout his career, including platoon leader, company commander, executive officer, assistant professor, aviation training and served numerous staff positions at brigade and division levels. Having him in active service meant a lot of things for K. Martuscelli, she said. McFarland is her 10th school. She is good at making friends because she had to make a new set of them at each school. It's hard because she also has to keep up with dad from far away. Mostly, now, they communicate via phone. When he was overseas, they used Skype. Mostly, though, she is proud he has stepped up to defend this country. She wants to thank him for his service.