American Flags for Gloucester’s Elementary Students
Plum Cove Elementary School along with many other elementary schools in Gloucester participated in sending Valentine’s to our troops serving over Afghanistan. One of Gloucester’s own, Lieutenant Commander Matthew T. Ventimiglia, a Navy Pilot-call sign “Noodle” has been deployed four times. During his last deployment, from December 2011 to July 2012, he was treated to care packages from students at all of Gloucester’s public elementary schools and St. Ann’s, organized by the Cape Ann Military Family Support Group (CAMFSG). In December he received a Christmas package that contained a big Christmas stocking, useful supplies for him, Gloucester-themed gifts as a reminder of home, and a variety of toys to be given to the children in the villages of Afghanistan. Because he lives and serves on an aircraft carrier and is not a ground troop, he passed along some of the toys to the enlisted sailors to send home to their children and saved the others to give to children in the ports he visited. Then, in February he received a Patriotic Valentines package with valentine cards and treats. Each valentine had a letter from an elementary student offering encouragement and gratitude for the troops’ sacrifices and work. These valentines and treats were shared with the officers and enlisted in his Squadron’s Ready Room aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln accompanied by a note of pride about the CAMFSG and Cape Ann. Although he knew of the CAMFSG and had received emails from some of its members over the years, amazed by receiving the packages and their contents, he developed a new admiration for the Group. To show his appreciation, Ventimiglia flew an American Flag for each school on his plane, the #-2C Hawkeye, over the skies of the Northern Arabian Sea during combat missions in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
The flags were flown between May 15, 2012 and May22, 2012. Plum Cove School was presented with one of the flags along with a certificate of documentation. The Flag and documentation can be viewed in the front lobby of Plum Cove School.
This story was given to Plum Cove School by Maria Ventimiglia and Sarah VanAuken.
Plum Cove Happenings >