Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1617 celebrates Loyalty Day every May 1 with awards to local residents.
Awards this year were given to:
- Derry Firefighter/Paramedic of the Year, Michael LaValley.
- Derry Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Officer Kevin Ruppel.
- Derry Community Service/Senior Volunteer of the Year, Gale Stanley.
- Elementary Teacher of the Year, Joanne Duncan, Derry Village Elementary School.
- Middle School Teacher of the Year, Patricia Thomas, West Running Brook Middle School.
- High School Teacher of the Year, Nicole Iacuzio, Pinkerton Academy.
- Teacher of the Year District 7, Matthew Pappas, Oyster River High School.
- Buddy Poppy Distributor of the Year, David Trow.
- Voice of Democracy Award District 7, Kayke Alves, Pinkerton Academy, Anthony Dimarcus, Manchester, and Patrick Linehan, Pinkerton Academy.
- VFW Patriot’s Pen District 7 Award, Haylee Coupal, West Running Brook, Benjamin Aker, West Running Brook and Declan Casey, Cawley Middle School, Hooksett.
- Post Scout of the Year, Eagle Scout Travis Thomas, Troop 98.
- Scout of the Year District 7, Sean Kelley, Troop 33, Hampstead.
- Commander’s Community Award, Sheila Bodenrader.
- Commander’s Appreciation Award, Christopher Parsons.
- VFW Auxiliary President’s Award, Pamela Perkins.
- Men’s Auxiliary President’s Award, Jon Richardson and Bob Englehardt.
- Commander’s Service Award, Richard Tripp.
VFW officials note that Loyalty Day is celebrated on May 1 for people to reaffirm their loyalty to the United States and to recognize the heritage of American freedom.
The Derry VFW considers its awards given to local people for services rendered to be an appropriate way to participate in the national celebration.
The local ceremony was held Sunday at the Post home.