Middle school students created a special banner for a special Marine stationed in Iraq to show their support for his service to the country. Lance Corporal Steven Vella, a former Locust Valley Middle School student, will receive a large banner signed by middle school students and staff with a message of support for him and his platoon members from the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines Battalion Animal Company. His platoon is providing anti-armor capabilities to protect the embassy personnel inside the compound. Lance Cpl. Vella is an MOS 0352 anti-tank missileman.

“We wanted to send him a message of support and help the students understand what a sacrifice our troops are making,” said student government co-advisor Penny McElwain. She said a white bed sheet was used to create the sign, which includes the Falcon logo and the message “The Locust Valley Staff and Students Send Best Wishes to Lance Corporal Steven Vella and the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines Battalion Animal Company.”

The banner was given to Kaye Weninger of Operation Democracy, who will have members of the Locust Valley American Legion add their signatures. Weninger will then ship the banner to Lance Cpl. Vella.

The Locust Valley Board of Education, administrators, staff and students are proud to call Lance Cpl. Vella an alumnus.