Becton’s first ‘Military Signing Day’ honors Willis, Cardona, Chattaway & Alexander


CEV Staff

Cole Willis, Sebastian Cardona, Matthew Chattaway, and Kier Alexander repeat the Oath of Enlistment for Military Service on May 1.

“We wanted to do something special for our students enlisting in the military,” announced Dr. Sforza, Becton Regional High School’s acting superintendent/principal, at the school’s first Military Signing Day hosted on May 1, also widely recognized as College Commitment Day and the start of Military Appreciation Month.

He then went on to remind the audience that “the reason we sit here today and have the chance to choose which college we go to is because of students courageous enough to enlist in our Armed Forces.”

CEV Staff
Acting Superintendent and Principal Dr. Sforza, who organized the event, speaks to the audience members.

Military Signing Day celebrated seniors Cole Willis, Sebastian Cardona, and Kier Alexander’s enlistment into the Army, along with Matthew Chattaway’s decision to join the Navy.

Joshua Novello, a member of the high school’s Class of 2019, began the event by leading the Pledge of Allegiance and performing The Star Spangled Banner.

Acting Principal Mr. Bononno, who also spoke at the event, stated, “We all get to follow our passion because someone else paid the price.”

Becton Board of Education President Mr. Dennis Monks, Reverand Donald Pitches, former Becton science teacher Mr. Walter Siri, and WWII Veteran Mr. Vito Trause were just a few in attendance. Furthermore, East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella addressed the four Carlstadt and East Rutherford residents. “Thank you for your service, and thank you for being here in East Rutherford,” he said.

“When I go home and sleep tonight, I know you guys will protect me,” said WWII hero and former POW Mr. Vito Trause to the senior boys. “Anybody that’s in the service, pat them on the back!” he exclaimed.

Anybody that’s in the service, pat them on the back!”

— WWII Veteran Mr. Vito Trause

When asked what inspired them to join the Armed Forces, Alexander and Chattaway both responded that it is an honor to serve the United States. Willis mentioned the benefits that would come with joining, including a steady job and a paycheck, while Alexander added “not going into debt due to student loans” to the list.

“I want to be stricter with my time and more persistent with what I do in the future, and I feel that the best way to achieve that is to look after my country,” Cardona said of enlisting.

The seniors agreed that they would also gain honor and confidence. Willis and Chattaway have always seen themselves entering the Army and Navy since they were young, while Cardona and Alexander decided in the past two years.

CEV Staff
“You can do it!” announced Veteran Science Teacher Mr. Walter Siri.

Alexander’s greatest worry is how drastically his life will change once he begins serving. “I realize that I’m going to go through an enormous transition. Everything is going to change, including the environment and the people, but I’m as prepared as I can be.”

Although their families are concerned with their children’s decisions, they ultimately support them and wish them the best. “They’re scared, but my mom just tells me to do whatever I set my sights on,” said Cardona. Alexander added, “A lot of them don’t want me to go, but they will always support me.”

The ceremony concluded with Captain Smith of the United States Army and the four senior students reciting the Oath of Enlistment for Military Service.