“I was in Sayville High and watched some of our local boys go off to war.  Some came back, some did not” by Linda Rodriguez

“I was in Sayville High and watched some of our local boys go off to war.  Some came back, some did not” by Linda Rodriguez

Welcome to our new column; “Sayville’s Military; Home of the free, because of the brave”.

Whether you are active duty, reserve, retired , a Veteran or a civilian, you will find good information here as well as interviews with local people.  If there is anything specifically you would like to see here, please let me know.

I am Linda Rodriguez, a U.S. Army Veteran. I graduated Sayville High School in 1973 and entered the Army in 1976.  I served with the Military Intelligence and Security Command out of Washington, D.C.  I am now  very active in my Coral Springs Veteran’s Coalition in Florida.

While the Vietnam war raged, I was in Sayville High and watched some of our local boys go off to war.  Some came back, some did not.  It was both confusing and scary to us as high school students.  I recall quite vividly going to Felice’s in Patchogue for a welcome home party for a boyfriend’s brother.  He came back to the world as a double amputee and was in no condition to celebrate.  He asked me to wheel him outside into the parking lot while people inside  were partying.  I was terrified.  I was 15 and he was 19.  I didn’t know how to feel or comfort him.  War is an ugly beast.  I heard  that he took his life years later.

Today, we are beginning to realize the value and valor of our soldiers.  More work needs to be done with regards to healthcare, PTSD issues and job placement for our Veterans.  I, myself, was placed in a job when I needed one under Veteran’s Preference but there needs to be more companies offering these hiring practices.

Wounded Warriors Project needs more funding and we need to give more support to the entire military family,  I was also a military spouse and know firsthand of the frustration and difficulties in getting assistance.

I would like to ask all of you who know or see a Veteran or military person to offer your support.  It means everything!

Look for my next column in July!

Linda Rodriguez

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