Armand Pires, Superintendent
45 Holliston St.
Medway, MA 02053
Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019
Media Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
Medway High School Students Share Stories to Honor Local Veterans
MEDWAY — Superintendent Armand Pires and High School Principal Dr. John Murray are pleased to share that Medway High School students recently had the opportunity to learn about the lives and service of local military veterans and to share those stories with the community.
Students honored Veterans Day on Thursday, Nov. 21 at the fourth annual recognition event, held in collaboration with the Medway Council on Aging at the Friends of the Elders senior citizen center in Medway.
Medway High School social studies teacher Aubrie Rojee, Medway Council on Aging Director Courtney Riley and Council on Aging Outreach Coordinator Marcia Lombardo worked to organize the event. Rojee worked with the students on their presentations, while Riley and Lombardo assisted with the coordination of the veterans and production of the event.
As part of the event, students interviewed veterans about their lives and military service and wrote a summary to present at the event. Eight students volunteered to be a part of the event and spent several weeks interviewing, writing and practicing their presentations.
“We’re very proud of these students for the time and effort they put into these projects to honor our veterans,” Dr. Murray said. “It’s wonderful for our students to hear about the many different acts of service and bravery these veterans shared, and we thank these six veterans for giving their time to participate and being willing to share their stories with our students.”
Junior Molly Britton shared the story of Joe Javorski, an Army veteran who grew up in Enfield, Connecticut. Javorski attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1968. He attended several schools for military training to be trained in specific areas of combat, including Airborne School, Pathfinder School, Jumpmaster School and Ranger School. During his service, Javorski completed an estimated 65 jumps from aircraft and earned the title Master Jumper. Javorski served in active duty in Germany as a member of the 509th Airborne before deploying to Vietnam where he was an combat and tactics advisor to the 34th Vietnamese Ranger Battalion. After moving several times throughout the U.S., Javorski, his wife and his children moved back to Massachusetts where he retired from the military and taught ROTC at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Juniors Elizabeth Downing and Sophie Boucher shared the story of Michael Gulla, a Marine veteran originally from Sherborn. As a member of the Navy Reserves, Gulla was called to active duty by the Marine Corps on Sept. 11, 2001. Gulla deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq as a corpsman before leaving the Navy as a petty officer second class, then joining the Coast Guard in 2005. Gulla deployed to Iraq with the Coast Guard in 2009 to train Iraqi forces in maritime law enforcement. For his service, Gulla was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with valor. He is now a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves.
Juniors Lillian Woodard and Alaina Zambrowski shared the story of Anthony Manbucca from Milford, who began his service in the National Guard. In January 1954, Manbucca volunteered for the draft and began training at Fort Benning, Georgia, also completing training as a radio operator in Morse Code. Manbucca then served in Korea where he went on boating missions as a radio operator to bring CIA operatives to and from North Korea. After leaving Korea, he trained as a helicopter pilot before leaving the military and attending night school at Northeastern University to obtain a degree in mechanical engineering. Between active and reserve duty, Manbucca spent 13 years in the military.
Juniors Sreendhi Ravipati and Rena Weafer shared the story of Tim Pozsgai who served for 35 years. He grew up in Trenton, Michigan and enlisted as an electrician. Pozsgai spent four years on active duty in the Navy, deploying to the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. When his enlistment was up, Pozsgai decided not to re-enlist and attended Michigan Technological University where he earned a degree in electrical engineering, supported by the G.I. Bill. Pozsgai then joined and was a member of the Navy Reserves for 30 years. He was awarded seven medals for his service, including the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal and National Defense Medal.
Junior Maisie Donohue shared the stories of Elizabeth and Gary Estler. Elizabeth was raised in Lincoln, Nebraska and Gary was raised in Queens, New York. Elizabeth enlisted in the Army in 1975 and was a member of the last Women’s Army Corps Direct Commission Class. Elizabeth served in many U.S. states as well as Panama. She later went to Germany and worked with classified military intelligence. She spent 13 years in active service and an additional seven in the inactive reserves, and received an Army Commendation Medal for her service. She ended her service in the Army at the rank of major.
Gary began in the Army ROTC and was commissioned in 1969 as a second lieutenant. He served in the signal corps branch and later attended airborne school and ranger school. He served in Germany and Vietnam, as well as several stations in the U.S. He later served in Panama where he met Elizabeth. He served in the Army for 20 years, ending his service at the rank of lieutenant colonel. Gary received six meritorious service medals and a Bronze Star for his service.
Each veteran shared memories of their service and advice with the students. Every student team ended their presentation with a word of thanks and appreciation for the veterans’ service.
The community was also invited to attend the event to hear the students’ presentations, which were followed by a small reception.