Community Calendar

Like New Book Sale at Mystic & Noank Library
10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Mystic

Winter Reading Challenge - 50 To Grow On - Sign up begins for ages 7 and younger
10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Stonington

Paint and Play
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. North Stonington

Shutterfly for the Holidays
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Groton

Holiday Gift Show
11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Mystic

Downtown Mystic Stroll
5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Mystic

Mystic Arts Center Holiday Gift Show Extended Hours for Downtown Mystic Holiday Stroll
5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Mystic

Medicare Information Presentation
7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Groton

Art=Gift, Annual Holiday show
7 p.m. - 10 p.m. New London

... View all of today's events

Junior Michael Nossek,17, serves dessert to Joe Marie, a Navy veteran from Pawcatuck, as (l-r) Army veterans Colburn Graves, of N. Stonington and George Sylvestre, of Old Mystic, look on. Stonington High School Student Government hosted their annual
Veteran Joseph Pescatello, of Pawcatuck, and his daughter, Kris Slucer, of Stonington, smile as Stonington High School freshman Morgan Floyd, 14, serves them dinner. Stonington High School Student Government hosted their annual Junior Hannah Eisenbeis,16, reaches for a plate of food to serve Jimmy Spear and his wife, Violet, of Ledyard. A navy veteran, Mr. Spears served on a submarine in the Pacific. Stonington High School Student Government hosted their annual Freshman Matthew Planchon, 14, serves dinner to Navy veteran Phillip Jeckel, of Mystic. Stonington High School Student Government hosted their annual Stonington High School Student Government hosted their annual

Dinner helps students, veterans connect

STONINGTON — A group of student leaders at Stonington High School served dinner to a group of storied veterans last week, and all shared in the opportunity to learn from each other.

“The best part of the night is hearing their stories,” said Hannah Eisenbeis, a 16-year-old junior who took part in her third Fall Feast for Veterans, “and seeing and hearing their appreciation. I had a man come up to me and thank me for taking time to do this.

“I was touched,” she said. “They took all this time to serve our country, and they’re thanking me for being here for one night.”

The annual dinner for veterans, prepared by the school’s kitchen staff, is as much an institution in the community as its host, Stonington High’s Student Government, is to its school.

Members of student government organize and serve veterans a Thanksgiving-style dinner in the high school commons every year around Veterans Day.

“I’ve been to eight or nine of them,” said George Sylvestre, an Army veteran, retired Director of Administrative Services for the town, and resident of Old Mystic. “They’re kind enough to do this for us, and we hope we can give them a history lesson. We want to share with them because they are the future.”

During his keynote address prior to dinner, Navy Captain Sam Geiger stressed the importance of events like Fall Feast for Veterans, where a connection is made and kept between generations.

“We miss the opportunity to learn from our successes and failures from the past when we don’t have these connections,” Geiger said. “This event gives these veterans the opportunity to share from their lives, and the kids share something from their lives. The veterans can appreciate what they’re hearing and the kids can appreciate the sacrifices that were made.”

For more than 19 years, the dinner has drawn crowds, including about 100 who dined last week. Both Kyle Gillick and Ethan Schroeder, seniors who organized this year’s event, grew up knowing about Fall Feast for Veterans. Each had siblings who served in student government.

“It’s one of the most important and special events we have because it’s the only one that reaches outside of school and into the community,” Gillick, 17, said. “It’s a way to honor people who made our world safe.”

Added Schroeder, 17: “Dinner time is the best part. It’s the time you get to serve them and talk with them. You hear about their bravery and see their pride.”

Navy veteran Phillip Jeckel, who lives in Mystic, said connections were made Thursday night.

“I appreciate them for recognizing the military,” Jeckel said. “I believe the youth today are understanding the service, and what it means. The more they see it, the more they’re around those who have served, the more they understand.”

Jeckel’s older brother, Navy veteran Carl Jeckel, agreed.

“This is the second [Fall Feast] I’ve been to,” he said. “I’m 83 years old, and I’ve been recognized for my service more in the past two years than I ever have in my life.”

Back to LatestNews
Top Stories of the Week

Thanksgiving Day leftovers: Bittersweet season for Stonington’s Wallace brothers …
Stonington High’s football season has been quite the odyssey for brothers Seamus and Liam Wallace. Seamus, a senior, was acknowledged as Stonington’s best returning player … more ...

Thanksgiving Day football: Stonington dominates line of scrimmage on both …
STONINGTON — Stonington High’s football team faced some massive opponents this season. The Bears were blanked by a bigger Ledyard team. They were run over … more ...

Thanksgiving Day notebook: Stonington special teams came in ready to …
STONINGTON — Some weeks, Stonington High’s football team spends very little time devising a plan to block punts. Other weeks, they spend more. In the … more ...

Visitors enjoy Olde Mistick Village shops …
MYSTIC — The line of parents with their small children extended well outside the front door of the Olde Mistick Village Meeting House on Friday. … more ...

Thanksgiving Day football: One more makes four in a row …
STONINGTON — Stonington High football coach A.J. Massengale has always viewed the Westerly game as no more or, certainly, no less important than any other. … more ...