On a beautiful, clear Wednesday evening Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU)
gathered together graduating high school seniors, their families, members of
the various military organizations, friends and faculity of FDU to
celebrate "Our Community Salutes". This was the Second Annual High School
Enlistee Recognition Ceremony that the Office of Veterans Services (OVS)
at FDU has hosted.
Gunny Mario Monaco and his brother Dominic Monaco were invited to show their
expertise in organizing the students for group pictures and their "grand
march into the ceremonies". I know this didn’t please the other services
but then, if it was left up to them to do it the ceremony might never had
taken place. Gunny and Dominic have their own way of doing things and
getting them done in a quiet manner.
There were about 150 enlistees from the various branches (Army 67, USMC 62,
Navy 3, Air Force 5 and NJ Army National Guard 13) and 40-50 members in
rank from Sergeant to a one-star General who had to be organized so it
was a task. One of them was the daughter of Michael Rios, Kait Rios, from
Clifton High School. They were a pleasant and polite group.
Martha Papson Garcia and Jeffery Dunn of OVS co-organized a nice ceremony in
the Italian Gardens next to Hennessey Hall (The Mansion). It started with
the United States Military Academy Regimental Brass Quartet playing the
National Anthem. Then the program with guest speakers and the recognition
of the 2018 enlistees, the Benediction, retiring of colors and finally
The enlistees then came inside Hennessey Hall and had their choice of water,
coffee or lemonade and trays of various cookies before visiting 6 different
tables with items for them in information about their services. The Navy
Federal Credit Union, USAA, FDU and Fisher’s Popcorn from Maryland had
table as well as The Slattery Detachment.
Tom Miller was there and passed out both the “Boots on theGround” and
“Ambush” prints to each student. At his table also we the detachment’s
brochure and well as other framed prints. The students kept coming and
coming and the 150 prints were mostly handed out with the few remaining
given to Martha to be given to the dignitaries.
It was a nice gathering on a beautiful evening honoring our future military
students. Gunny and Dom did a great job getting them all in place.