Tampa Bay Tech Remembers Its Vets

Tampa Bay Tech

CEREMONY OPEN: Our first group of tiles include from the Vietnam Era Michael J. Gibbons class of 1969

ROTC Commander Edward DeMartini reads a list of Tampa Bay Tech students who have served and are serving in the armed forces. Their names are engraved on brick pavers lining a walkway inside a sunny courtyard on the high school campus.

SKELTON: Michael Skelton, I'm one of the parents. I had a son who was in ROTC here Ryan Skelton. He graduated in 05 and he's serving now in the Army as an Airborne MP. He's actually on a tour in Iraq right now.

Veterans Day means a lot to him.

SKELTON: For me as a family held special place now having a son in the military means more to me especially as he is serving and has lost friends already in his tour in Iraq.

Three Tampa Bay Tech students have been killed in action. Their names adorn larger pavers - on the brick walkway - most notable is Sgt. First Class Paul Smith. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism during a battle to secure Baghdad Airport in April 2003.

Another student killed in action was Cpl. Aaron Griner. His soccer coach and teacher Marci Lieber spoke of his hard work and good humor.

LIEBER: His nickname on the soccer team was grinner because no matter what happened good bad or ugly he always had a smile on his face. He always worked hard to bring things to best possible resolution.

She wants students to take inspiration from the hard work that Griner put into his life and in support of the country and to never forget him.

LIEBER: If you see the brick think of Aaron Griner big tall goofy looking kid played sweeper. Great soccer player, great kid, we lost him just short of his 25th birthday.

DEATHE: My son is Adam Sardinas - Marine he was injured in action in April of this year so he's healing up at a wounded warriors barracks at Camp Lejeune.

Cyd Deathe is a secretary at Tampa Bay Tech. She took a photo of her son's paver to email to him.

DEATHE: We just owe so much to our veterans I wish we could just have a class for the kids to just teach kids pride about our country and what it means to love your country and be a veteran and the respect and honor that they deserve.

Her son wants to be a history teacher. Most likely he'll teach about Armistice Day. ROTC Commander DeMartini.

DEMARTINI: On this 88th anniversary of the end of the war to end all wars, the 68th anniversary of Veterans Day, it's particularly important that we at TBT remember the sacrifices made by our alumni on our behalf. That's particularly true now that military engaged in combat around the world.


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