Becton Alumna Reflects on Veterans Day


Becton graduate Sergeant Melissa Czarnogursky proudly shares her service moments with juniors and seniors.

On Nov. 11 every year, we commemorate Veterans Day to honor everyone who is in, has retired, or has passed away from all United States Armed Wars. To show our appreciation at Becton Regional High School, an assembly was organized in the Becton PAC by Alumni Affairs/ Military Apprecia Coordinator At Becton, Michele Ferris, where Becton Alumna, Sergeant Melissa Czarnogursky, spoke to juniors and seniors about her experiences while serving. Before completing her speech, Czarnogursky offered the advice to “give back to your community and stay resilient, don’t give up.” These wise words can apply to everyone at any time, especially as a soldier.

Czarnogursky graduated Becton in 2012, served in the military, and is now re-enlisting after taking some time off.  Czarnogursky felt extremely welcomed by the Becton students and adored all the decorations set up by Mrs. Colangelo. She shared her inspiration for her career path, “On Veteran’s Day when I was in high school, several veterans came into the school to talk about their service. I was touched by their accounts and identified with their passion for service, and so I made my decision to enlist.” It was during a school assembly when Czarnogursky was motivated to join the military, and she hopes to have inspired students to serve for their country just the same.

Students discuss military matters personally with Czarnogursky
Students discuss military matters personally with Czarnogursky.

During the assembly, Czarnogursky explained intriguing highlights on and off duty. One of the moments was the time she was deployed in Korea, where she had an absolute culture shock. She was incredibly honored to have experienced new cuisine and customs from another country. She also provided pictures of her driving in a HumVee and her new friends from the Army. Czarnogursky told the story of how she almost crashed a vehicle and if it had not been for her fellow soldier, the outcome may have been different. She elaborated on the fact that people should always trust fellow soldiers with your life. Czarnogursky described the military as similar to any everyday job. She noted that her career as a soldier “…becomes a way of life.” She found her favorite part of the service is the people. Czarnogursky admits, “My favorite moment in the military so far has been all the relationships I have built.” Czarnogursky further explains, “I found my closest friends, life-long mentors, and family while in uniform.” Overall, Czarnogursky changed drastically while in the service and learned to appreciate the diversity of everyone.

Czarnogursky tells students about her memories thus far of the military
Czarnogursky tells students about her memories thus far in the military.

When asked the personal significance of Veterans Day, Czarnogursky offered this response, “Veteran’s Day is an opportunity for us to honor, remember, and say thank you to the men and women who served in the military. Past wars and periods of unrest led to many raising their right hand and shipping off around the country and the world to protect our nation and those in danger. Their sacrifices and their endured hardships should never be forgotten.” Veteran’s Day is a day for remembrance and thankfulness for those who put their lives on the front line to fight for America’s freedom, just as Becton Alumna, Czarnogursky did and continues to do. With that, we thank Czarnogursky and all veterans for their unwavering bravery and allegiance to protecting our country.