HONORING THOSE WHO SERVED AND ARE SERVING OUR COUNTRY AND ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE
HONORING THOSE WHO SERVED AND ARE SERVING OUR COUNTRY AND ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE
There's much to see, read, think about, and understand here about the Pennsbury Wall of Honor (WOH) Foundation (or PWF) and all the history associated with the WOH. So look around, and learn all there is to know about us. We hope you can help us move forward in fulfilling our PWF missions and goals.
THE PENNSBURY WALL OF HONOR FOUNDATION (PWF):
The PWF was established in November 2017, via efforts of some PHS Veterans, and has been active since then. (Incorporated in Pennsylvania as a Charitable Non-Profit Organization and as a 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit organization under the IRS). The PWF, is a totally voluntary, non-profit, foundation. (Foundation By-Laws and Constitution are available upon request). The Foundation is the "means" by which private funds can be made available and donated to PHS to do quality enhancements to the Pennsbury Wall of Honor, and support educational grants to PHS students.
Managed by an Executive Board (EB) (President, Executive Secretary, and Treasurer) with oversight by an Advisory Board (BOA) (four to eleven members). A Special Advisor has recently been appointed.
[NOTE: The PWF is an independent entity and not officially affiliated with the Pennsbury School District or Pennsbury High School. However, since the WOH “Wall” space and support is provided by the District, all efforts in regard to the WOH are coordinated and approved by the WOH PHS POC and District and PHS Administrators. This is a highly cooperative effort!]
Primary Mission To help (by means of private financial contributions or grants) in keeping the Wall of Honor (WOH) at Pennsbury High School (PHS) as a quality Memorial dedicated to PHS Veterans and especially those Veterans who have died in service to America; and to keep the WOH in a quality condition with the requisite artifacts (e.g., plaques, flags, pictures, audio-visual enhancements, documents, etc.,) and any special maintenance to maintain its quality appearance. This mission is designed to encourage family members of Veterans, all other Veterans, any PHS students (helped with PWF educational grants), and PHS staff and faculty, as well as visitors to the WOH, to take pride in what they see and observe.
Other Important Missions:
Initial fundraising efforts allowed us to help make basic enhancements six months later to the PHS WOH by our deadline of Memorial Day 2018! (Special US Flag boxes prepared by Ray & Claudia Parker for Vietnam Vets; individualized plaques for all persons listed on the Wall of Honor; a new Video screen capability; overall enhancement of the "visuals" of the Wall, and other improvements. (Above: Foundation Treasure Marge Wysor, presents a $2000 check to Assistant Principal Bill Fry, April 2018, with WOH PHS Staff Advisor Aly McBryar)
If you have not been to the Wall of Honor you may find it a moving experience, especially if you know someone who is on the Wall. And...there are many possibilities (unfortunately) that you may have known someone. The location is set in a large hallway with windows on one side that go about three levels, a large wall that covers two floors, and then the second tier to the right of the main wall has the Vietnam (and one Irag era) combat casualties). We are lucky to have the space we have, and it is a postive sign of the District and PHS leadership comittment to its Veterans to provide this space.
Initial fundraising efforts also allowed us to make a scholarship grant to the PHS JROTC Distinguished Graduate (Cadet Spohn) at PHS Awards Day in May 2018! And subsequent grants have been made since in 2019 and 2020 (we did this virtually, but with help from the JROTC Senior Staff (Major James McEachern) it happened!
(Above: Nicole with Marge Wysor and Aly McBryar at PHS Awards Assembly). You will see below and elsewhere that our educational grants have reaped rewards, with all the awardees excelling in their chosen careers after graduation!
Nicole chose to attend the Citadel after graduation. In her Freshman Year, Spring Semester, Nicole was awarded Gold Star recognition, which commends academic achievement of a 3.7 Grade Point Average (or higher). Nicole is currently in her 3rd year at the Citadel. Academically she is carrying a 3.96 GPA and militarily is currently in the challenging role of Company 1st Sgt. Next year (this 2021) she aspires to become a Company Commander. Her post-Citadel goal is to commission in the Active-Duty Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer.
Victoria Thompson (AKA “Tori”) 2019 Recipient of the Foundation’s Educational Grant to the PHS Air Force Junior ROTC Distinguished Graduate, is currently serving in the Active-Duty Air Force. Having graduated from basic training in Nov 2019 she then went to NAS Pensacola to begin her technical training school in the Cybersecurity field. Tori is still at NAS Pensacola (about a year-long school) and will then go to Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas for additional training. She recently found out she will become part of the newly formed Space Force and be stationed at Hurlbert Field, Florida. She is currently an A1C (E-3).
2020 Foundation Awardee: Cadet (LtCol) Riley Girton. Riley came to PHS AFJROTC as a sophomore in the first year of the program (Sep 2017). He quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with. He volunteered for everything and had a great attitude. His love of drill and all things military were evident from the start Cadet Girton rose through the ranks quickly and ultimately became the Unit Cadet Commander. Riley was dedicated to the ideal of “serving others”. Riley is attending St. Joseph's University and enrolling in the college ROTC program. He plans to major in chemistry and enter the Air Force as a 2Lt upon graduation in 2024.
2020 Foundation Awardee: Cadet Kamya Jefferson. Kamya came to PHS AFJROTC as a sophomore in the first year of the PHS AFJROTC program (Sep 2017). Her enthusiasm and passion for the program were evident from the start. She was one of the brave female cadets to join the Color Guard and Drill Team and competed in front of thousands of spectators. Cadet Jefferson quickly established herself as a natural leader and someone people could trust. She considered the “Heart and Soul” of the unit, always focused on doing great things for the community, serving others, and helping fellow cadets. Cadet Jefferson is attending Drexel University and will be a nursing major. She will be enlisting in the Army National Guard and plans to serve in the Nursing Corps in the Army National Guard upon her graduation from Drexel in 2024
Once again, as last year, we did a "virtual" education grant ceremony for this year's PHS Junior AF ROTC Distinguished Graduate - -Cadet Luke Wilson.
The program was set up by Major, USAF (Ret.) James MacEachern, Jr., (affectionally referred to by all as "Major Mac") and who is the Senior Academic Advisor and Instructor for the PHS AFJROTC Program at PHS, and Ms. Alison "Aly" McBryar, PHS Staff Advisor for the Wall of Honor, and M.O.S.T. Teacher at PHS.
As Major Mac stated "Luke Wilson started at Pennsbury High School in the Fall of 2017 and joined the brand new
Air Force Junior ROTC program that same semester. He quickly established himself by participating in every event and demonstrating a high level of maturity and professionalism. From the beginning it was clear Cadet Wilson was destined for the highest levels of leadership in the JROTC unit.
In the Spring of his sophomore year he was selected as the Vice Commander. Cadet Wilson really put his stamp
on this position and did it like no one before him. He held people accountable while still caring for his troops.
As a junior Luke was unanimously selected as the Commander. He continued his outstanding leadership and took the
unit to new heights. "
Major Mac goes on . . . "Cadet Wilson possesses the rare ability of being able to hold people accountable while still having them respect him.
Even though the pandemic happened during his tenure, Luke stayed positive and continued to motivate his subordinates.
The future looks bright for Cadet Wilson. With the full support of his family (his Mom Maria pictured above), he will be attending the University of Pittsburgh in the Fall on an Army ROTC scholarship
and he someday hopes to fly helicopters."
Each year, the Pennsbury Wall of Honor Foundation, which honors Pennsbury Graduates who have given their lives in the service of our Country, makes a presentation to students about the meaning of Veterans Day and the sacrifices made by the men and women of our Armed Services. This presentation is usually given on the actual date of Veterans Day as an “in person” event. For the last three years, the presentations have been in-person (presneters to multiple classes of students). Due to the COVID situation this past year (2020), a personal presentation was not possible, and it was decided to do it “virtually” as to not miss a year. The results were a resounding success.
Barry Miner (Class of ’64) and Jim Spahn (Class of ’64) worked closely with dedicated teachers from PHS (Aly McBryar, Mark Cherepko, Mary Cherepko and Kurt Bergmann, with tech support from Megan Swope) to develop a presentation that could be presented virtually and attended by students virtually. The presentation was made on 19 November to six separate classes of honors students with each presentation lasting approximately an hour while being facilitated by one of the PHS teachers.
As in the past, a selection of PHS Vietnam veterans spoke to each class for about 10 minutes with each talking briefly about their lives growing up within the PHS District, how PHS and its teachers shaped their thinking and impacted the ways they dealt with their military and Vietnam experiences, as well as other challenges and opportunities they experienced over the years. This year’s presenters (each representing a branch of the armed services) were: Don Bentivoglio (’65), Terry Nau (’65), Ray Parker (’64), Jim Spahn (’64) and Craig Fring (’64) representing the Army; Dave Anderson (’65) and Ed Johnson (’64) representing the Coast Guard; Terry Wallace (’64) representing the Marines; Ralph Rhodes (’64) representing the Navy; and John Armagost (’64) representing the Air Force. Barry Miner, retired Army, coordinator of the event and founder of the PHS Wall of Honor Foundation, assisted the PHS staff as a moderator.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of each year’s event is that, following the presentations, the floor is opened to students where they are able to ask questions about the Vietnam War in general and the presenter’s experiences specifically (this year questions were facilitated by a designated teacher). The questions are generally on point, interesting and usually require a moment or two to gather the proper thoughts for an adequate response. Especially this year (November 2020), it was great work on the part of the teachers and the students! If nothing else, this years’ experience has given us all a greater appreciation of the challenges that students and teachers are experiencing while making the best of a less-than-ideal academic year in a virtual environment. Their individual efforts and work are to be recognized and applauded. And, as in prior years, we Veterans who do this are always impressed by the commitment of the District and PHS administrations, PHS faculty and staff, and especially the students, in support of Veterans, and particularly PHS Alumni Veterans.
(Contact Foundation Special Advisor, Don Bentivoglio, Class of '65, Vietnam Veteran, US Army, (firstname.lastname@example.org), 347-524-6989)
We have a few teams of Alumni Veterans (and we always need more volunteers) who try to be at major Veteran-related events associated with PHS (including Veteran recognition programs at PHS, Alumni Class Reunions, Veteran luncheons, Memorial Day events, and of course Veterans Day events). You can probably tell where you can offer assistance. Please do!
Obviously, we need your financial support. Please send us your donations. We appreciate anything that allows us to "give" back to our PHS Veterans and to PHS students. Everything done by the Foundation participants to date has been "free", "totally voluntary", without any reembursement (not even for a postage stamp). So please help so we can continue our work. AND, please volunteer. We need people who can do web sites, publicity efforts, marketing, presentations on Veteran affairs, Viet Nam, military conflict, etc. We need experienced mentors and teachers who can help with our efforts. Thank you in advance!
WE APPRECIATE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO BY SHARING YOUR RESOURCES OR TIME AND TALENTS TO HELP
Your support and tax exempt contributions will enable us to meet our goals to provide educational grants to PHS Students and make future improvements to the Pennsbury WOH, while always honoring those who serve our Nation. We are in the process of providing an on-line link for donations, but until then, PLEASE donate via check: Pennsbury Wall of Honor Foundation (or to PWF), Mail to the Foundation Treasurer. P.O. Box 1406, Attention: Marge Wysor, Morrisville, PA 19067-1107.
You will enjoy the visit, will take pride in what you see and will want to share what you learn about the "Wall". And it is easy to visit. Just contact the Pennsbury Wall of Honor Staff POC, Ms. Aly McBryar (email@example.com) and request a visit. Or, call the PHS West Admin office and request a visit. Parking is pretty easy as is access (but you need to request access): 608 S. Olds Blvd
Fairless Hills, PA 19030 Telephone: 215-949-6780. The faculty and staff at PHS are a pleasure to work
Pres. Jim Spahn, (firstname.lastname@example.org), 317-372-1626 Exec Sec: Barry Miner, (email@example.com), 703-201-0412 Treasurer. Marge Wysor, (firstname.lastname@example.org), 267-255-6216 Spec Advisor: Don Bentivoglio, (email@example.com), 347-524-6989