Oceanside VFW, South Nassau Communities Hospital honor veterans


It was a solemn day of remembrance at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Oceanside on Sunday as post members hosted their annual salute to past and present veterans, which was attended by residents, veterans and Boy Scouts troops.

VFW Chaplin Dean Fenton ignited a fire for a commemorative ceremony during which old and tattered American flags were burned in honor of those who served, and the final flag was laid by World War II U.S. Army veteran John Nezoldski. Now a Long Beach resident, Nezoldski served the U.S. in the Pacific during World War II.

Once all the flags were placed in the flames, those in attendance offered a salute in memory of veterans who served the U.S. After the service, VFW post members celebrated with a lunch at the post.

South Nassau Communities Hospital hosted a Salute to Veterans event on Nov. 9. Stephen Biscotti, a U.S. Navy veteran and SNCH’s director of safety and security, served as the master of ceremonies.

Brittney Keller, an Army Reserves student in SNCH’s Robert J. Hochstim School of Radiography was named the recipient of a new scholarship that was created for veterans pursuing healthcare education. Ralph Esposito, a U.S. Navy veteran and the director of SNCH’s veteran services, was also a special guest.

Robert Garrison of the VFW Post 3350 in East Rockaway presented the flag and posted the colors, and he also performed TAPS after a moment of silence. Sandra Baracaldo, a registered nurse in the Emergency Department, performed the “Star Spangled Banner,” and the South Nassau Nightingales sang “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America.” South Nassau Chaplain James Steward led the Invocation.

“We represent veterans around the community and those who made the ultimate sacrifice and didn’t come home,” said Paul Vista, deputy director, Nassau County Veterans Service Agency. “We represent freedom, democracy. Everything that’s good about being an American, we represent it.”