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Veteran’s tribute car designed for NYC Veteran’s Day Parade

November 8 - SULLIVAN BOCES, LIBERTY, NY – On November 7th, the Auto Body Class at the Career & Technical Education CenterVet's Vette at Sullivan BOCES presented Marine Staff Sargent Julius Leonard “Sarge”, with a refurbished 1984 Chevy Corvette in tribute to the thousands of soldiers who gave their lives for our nation. The car will be driven in the 2013 New York City Veterans Parade on Monday, November 11th.

When Sarge was asked about how he felt when he first saw the car, he said he was amazed. He felt that the other veterans will be spellbound when they see the car. “Working with these students has been one of my greatest experiences,” added Sarge.

In September 2013, Sarge, who runs the Cpl. David W. Leonard K.I.A. War Memorial Museum in Parksville, NY, called Fred Muller, Auto Body Instructor at the Career & Technical Education Center, to see if the class could repair and paint the Corvette in time for the 2013 NYC Veteran’s Day parade.

The wife of a Korean War veteran donated the 1984 Chevy Corvette to the War Memorial Museum after the passing of her husband. The car was in rough shape, but drive-able. Although the deadline was tight and the project was challenging, the Auto Body and Vehicle Maintenance class began working on the car immediately. Various individuals and organizations donated the parts and materials used to refurbish the car.

Sarge requested that the car be painted white with an American flag painted on it. Fred Muller and his students thought that the car should have some Sullivan County “flavor”, so the class painted a few names of Sullivan County veterans killed in action on the hood of the car. The class selected at least one name from WWI on to represent all of our lost soldiers. The names listed include CPT Harold Faldermeyer, Spec. James Muller, Corp. Robert Johnson, PFC. Jason Kropat, l.C. William Yaskanich, 1st LT. John Crawford, PRC. Jerry Evans, Serg. Lewis Lorio, Spec. Michael Galbraith, PFC. Frank Stokes, PFC. Anthony Kaiser, and 1st. LT. Baldomero Lopez.

James Terpstra, a senior at Sullivan West who plans to join the Marines after graduation, stated, “Giving back to everyone who serves is a great honor. We will take great pride to see what people think of the car.”

The Auto Body Program at the Career & Tech Center at Sullivan County BOCES is part of the I-Car Professional Development Program, a nationally recognized training and curriculum program.

Formed by the collision industry in 1979, I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, is a not-for-profit training organization focused on education, knowledge and solutions for the Collision Repair Inter-Industry. The primary goal of I-CAR is complete and safe repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer. I-CAR develops and delivers technical training programs to professionals in all areas of the Collision Repair Inter-Industry.

PHOTO from left to right: Staff Sargent Julius Leonard “Sarge”, Fred Mueller, Auto Body Instructor, James Terpstra, Sullivan West CSD, Jason Gonzalez Monticello CSD, Donald Stout, Sullivan West CSD, Jared Santillo, Monticello CSD, and Daniel Morgan, Sullivan West CSD. Missing from picture Tyler Picariello, Monticello CSD, and Matthew Winner, Fallsburg CSD.