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    Letter to the Community
    February 14, 2017 7:43 pm  
    Letter to the Community

    Sayville Class fo 2017 President writes an open letter about Fundraiser in honor of local hero Capt. Merrill H. Masin

    To Whom it May Concern,
    I write to you today on behalf of the senior class of 2017 to inform you of our most recent endeavor.
    It has become a tradition at our high school for each of the classes to choose a charity to fundraise for during our homecoming festivities. This organization is named after a Marine Corps Officer who gave his life during his second tour of duty in Iraq, and was founded in his honor. The organization fundraises to support veterans, September Eleventh victims, and many other charitable outlets. The Travis Manion Foundation also seeks to instill the motto of, “If not me…then who?” in the youth of America. This motto by which Travis Manion lived his life was embodied by a former Sayville high school student, Merrill Masin.

    Merrill H. Masin was fifteen years old in 1960, a young man learning in the same halls as us, living in the same town as us, sailing in the same Wet-pants sailing club which is still here today. A war in a distant land would shift his focus from the peace and opportunity of our hometown to the foreign shores and sweltering jungles of Vietnam. August, 1972, Merrill H. Masin’s C-130 was ravished by enemy fire while taking off from a strip in the Ba Xugen province. Thirty of the forty-four on board died when the craft crashed in close proximity to the airfield.

    Captain Merrill H. Masin is a recipient of the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the New York State Conspicuous Service Medal.

    Our mission is to teach our fellow students that they can apply the, “If not me…then who?” ideology to the challenges that the next generation of Americans is sure to face. The Sayville High School Class of 2017 asks you to please donate to our cause. Your support of our endeavor not only honors the last military casualty from our school, but also maintains the standard of selflessness and compassion that our community holds so dear.

    The link to our online fundraising page is:

    Sayville High School students have created a documentary on Captain Merrill Masin, which may be found using this link.

    Also, students have compiled a series of interviews of local service veterans which may be found by using the following link.


    The Class of 2017 extends special thanks to:

    The Travis Manion Foundation,
    The American Legion, Smith-Wever Post 651,
    VFW Post 433,
    Amanda Bieler, Travis Manion Foundation Special Events Coordinator
    Liz Fishcer, Travis Manion Foundation Program Coordinator
    Chris Bodkin, Suffolk County Legislative Aid
    Bill Venegas
    Fred Hinze, American Legion Historian
    Mr. George Surber, American Legion
    Hugh Prior, VFW
    Joan Furey, VFW
    LTJG Gary Vertichio, U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps

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