In honor of Memorial Day observances, the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations -NECO honored a diverse group of members of the famed Fighting 69th U.S. Army regiment, including those soldiers not native born but who proudly wear the American uniform. Surrounded by military armor, NECO presented a $15,000 check to the Long Island Family Readiness Group that supports the men and women of the Fighting 69th who are deployed on overseas assignments to protect our nation.
The donation came directly from the proceeds of the ‘Silent Auction’ held at the May 6th, at the Chairman’s Dinner, which is held the evening before the Ellis island Medals of Honor. The Dinner was a private event hosted by Chairman Nasser J. Kazeminy to honor the 2016 Medalists.
“NECO has always celebrated the contributions that immigrants have made to our nation. And today many of the members of our armed forces, including several of the Fighting 69th Regiment who join us, are from all over the world. Having been born in foreign lands, they came to America in search of freedom and opportunity. They came prepared to lay down their lives in the defense of the United States.” said NECO President Helene der Stepanian. “And we thank them for their commitment and dedication.”
Beth Delli-Pizzi, the President of the Fighting 69th Family Readiness Group commended NECO, “It is not just those in uniform who are impacted by the repeated deployments of the Fighting 69th to the front lines but it is their families as well. NECO’s generosity will help families who are in need of assistance. Their financial and emotional support is greatly appreciated.”
der Stepanian continued, “This morning we recognize and honor these soldiers, sailors and airmen for their courage and sacrifice. This sacrifice is often carried by the family, as well. They must deal with the constant fear of loved one’s injury or worse; they navigate financial decisions alone, and they must learn to spend holidays and life’s milestones alone, as a husband, wife, father or mother, brother or sister is away fighting for freedom. Fortunately, these military families have a wonderful resource like the Long Island Family Readiness Group, which provides an understanding support system and practical life tools for both soldiers and their families in dealing with the stress of deployments, financial difficulties, illnesses and strengthening marital harmony. For these reasons, NECO is making a significant donation to the Long Island Family Support Group of the legendary Fighting 69th Regiment.”
The Fighting 69th traces its origins back to the American Revolution and has seen combat in five conflicts: the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War.