By Frank Ortiz
In early march, members of the SPARC/Interact Club of Mineola and Carle Place High Schools gathered at Mineola High School where they heard personal accounts of a very admirable US Veteran who served in the Marines during the war in Afghanistan. US Marine Corporal John Fretz, currently a social studies teacher at Mineola, recounted his experiences in the military, expressing his grief and gratitude for those whom he had lost during the war. Corporal Fretz shared his experience of witnessing first-hand, the destruction of an IED explosive. His Commanding Officer was terribly wounded in the IED explosion, leaving him incapacitated and unable to care for many of his own medical needs. Corporal Fretz’s commander is now relying on the VA Hospital for medical treatment of his ailments. After hearing this moving presentation from Corporal Fretz, the SPARC/Interact Club members worked together to create “comfort kit gift packages” to help ease the discomfort and distress faced by many veterans. These Gift Packs for Veterans included: pens, crossword puzzle books, combs, socks, and personal care items. Also included in each gift pack was a student-created “Thank You for Your Service” Card offering gratitude for the veterans’ sacrifice. The gifts were delivered after completion to the Veteran’s Administration hospital in Northport, Long Island.