The following was submitted by Peter Ripullone, on behalf of the VFW Henderson-Marino Post 1819 and American Legion Post 509. The annual Memorial Day Parade will take place on Monday, May 26, starting at 10 a.m., beginning at Schreiber High School. The parade route runs the length of Main Street to the John Philip Sousa Bandshell.
Memorial Day is upon us and we want to pay tribute to all veterans of all conflicts and to remember especially those who have made the supreme sacrifice. Our tradition in Port Washington is to have both the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars have a Grand Marshal to march in our parade.
James Drago has been chosen as Grand Marshal for the 2014 Memorial Day Parade in Port Washington by the American Legion Post 509. He has served his country and community in many ways.
In October of 1946, Jim Drago was drafted into his country’s service for the first time into the United States Army. After training at several Army bases, he was sent to San Francisco for his final training assignment. From San Francisco, Jim shipped out to Sasebo, Japan where he was assigned to play trumpet for the Regimental Band. As the demobilization after World War II progressed, Jim was discharged in May of 1947.
Upon coming home, Jim returned to the New York College of Music to study piano and receive his degree as a Concert Artist. Soon after, he met and married his wife Beatrice and settled down for their new life together.
In January of 1952, his country came calling upon him again and he was drafted into service in the Korean War as one of very few to have been drafted twice. After Marine boot camp at Parris Island, Jim was sent to Lakehurst Naval Air Station as official bugler. He continued his service until his discharge in January of 1954.
During this time, Jim and Bea welcomed their first two children, Denise and Doreen, into the world. Jim began to teach piano at his first studio in the American Legion Hall on Main Street in Port Washington. Jim joined the American Legion at that time and has been a member for more than 60 years.
The Dragos added two more children, James and Diane, to their family, moved to Port Washington and became active members of the community. Jim is a long time member of Port Singers, has been Director of Our Lady of Fatima Drum and Bugle Corps from its inception and is involved with the PAL Drum and Bugle Corps. Jim has contributed many hours to his church Human Resources effort and along with his wife, Bea, facilitated Marriage Encounter for six years.
Jim and Bea are blessed with twelve grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren who keep them busy, happy and thankful.
In service to his family, his country, his church and the community for many years, we are grateful to Jim Drago.
Salvatore Defeo has been chosen a Grand Marshal for the 2014 Memorial Day Parade in Port Washington by the VFW Henderson – Marino Post 1819. He has served his country and community in many ways.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army in August of 1945 for service to his country. After basic training with the 35th Infantry Battalion in South Carolina, he was transported via ship to Europe as part of the U.S. Occupancy Forces.
He was stationed in France, Belgium and Germany. Because of his prior civilian U.S. Postal Service work, he was involved in keeping mail going to and from the troops and rose to the rank of Tech 5.
He was honorably discharged in April of 1947 and returned to Port Washington, his life long community.
He and his wife had five children and have been blessed with a combination of grandchildren and great grandchildren that now number 22.
Sal has been a member of the Port Washington community throughout his life and involved in many community activities. As many of you know, he founded Ghost Motorcycle Inc. on Main Street. He started repairing and selling motorcycles as early as 1952 in a small garage on Davis Street. His enthusiasm for the motorcycle followers led him to numerous motorcycle races and activities throughout the country which resulted in the Ghost Motorcycle image enticing people from all over the country to Port Washington. Sal is happy to have been involved with other community entities and happy to be a Port Washingtonian.
In service to his family, his country, his church and the community for many years, we are grateful to Sal Defeo.