Hometown Hero Returns From Afghanistan
Story & Photos by Brenda Lentsch
Eleven months ago, Major Andrew Espinoza had to say goodbye to his wife and two daughters when the Army National Guard Major (2nd Infantry Division) was deployed to Afghanistan to fight for freedom.
“It was so sad when he left. I knew I wouldn’t get to see him for a long time,” said his daughter, Ava, a student in Michelle Goldstein’s third grade class at Sawmill Intermediate School. “Now, it’s amazing to have him home. I missed him so much.”
In honor of his homecoming, Mrs. Goldstein’s class threw him a surprise party. The students created a “Welcome Home” banner with red, white, and blue handprints. Each student prepared a letter decorated with American-themed pictures, which were read aloud to the Major. Patriotic treats were served, courtesy of students’ parents. The class parents provided specially created “Made in the USA” T-shirts with the words “Proud to Be an American” and “Welcome Home Major Espinoza” woven into an American flag.
Mrs. Goldstein said, “This way, every time the kids wear the shirts, they can remember our Commack Hometown Hero and all he did for our country!” Welcome home Major Espinoza!