Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Vets to Be Honored at Middle School Hampton Heroes to Receive Breakfast and Resident Thanks

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Vets to Be Honored at Middle School Hampton Heroes to Receive Breakfast and Resident Thanks

Article excerpt

Recognizing local men and women who have served their country here and abroad is the goal of the Hampton Heroes program, and recognition is what the school district has planned for Wednesday, the day after Veteran's Day.

For more than a decade, the five schools in the district have taken turns welcoming and thanking community veterans for their service at a ceremony and breakfast.

More than 200 men and women who live or work in the township or who graduated from the school district have been inducted as Hampton Heroes.

This year the veterans salute will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the middle school auditorium, 4589 School Drive. Retired Marine Lt. Col. James Popielec will be among the men and women joining the ranks of his honored peers.

Col. Popielec graduated in 1989 from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and was commissioned until September 2013. He served in Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

"I think it was a fantastic experience," he said. "You get to be a part of something bigger than yourself. When you join any service, you learn to trust in the people who are with you."

A native of Detroit, Col. Popielec moved to Hampton upon retiring from the service to pursue a career with Duquesne Light Co. When he was contacted by the school district this fall and invited to become a Hampton Hero, he said, "I was surprised to hear I was selected for induction."

He said living in Pittsburgh has taught him that the residents have a great appreciation for people who have served in the military and the Hampton Heroes program is a fine example. "They understand the value of hard work and service."

The first thing he did when he learned of his induction was call his wife of 21 years, Suzie. She said the induction is an honor.

Their oldest son, Mitchell, is a Hampton graduate and attends the University of Virginia.

The youngest, Colby, is in fourth grade at Poff Elementary School.

The Popielecs had the opportunity to live all over the world, experiencing different cultures and the local customs of how they honor their veterans.

In Japan, Lt. Col. Popielec said, the family took Mitchell to see the many World War II battlefields. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.