A U.S. Marine who lost both legs in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan was handed a $3,500 Raymour & Flanigan gift card that he can use to furnish his new Manorville home at a Southold ceremony for veterans Tuesday morning.
But the Marine sergeant said that it’s those who lost their lives serving their country that truly deserve the special recognition.
“It’s not me, it’s all the people,” said Sgt. Luis Remache. “It’s for them.”
The Southold ceremony — hosted by the Ladies Auxiliary of American Legion Post 803 — was one of several across the North Fork honoring servicemen and women for Veterans Day.
The event was held in front of the post and was attended by more than 100 people, including many students from the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. As American flags were paraded past the crowd, many local veterans and Boy Scout troops saluted.
“The sacrifices people make, they mean something,” said American Legion Post 803 Vice Commander and Historian Charles Sanders. “This shows [locals] actually care. They understand what veterans have done.”
Sgt. Remache, who was wounded by a grenade and small arms fire while on an overnight mission during his third deployment, will be living with his wife Cynthia — also a Marine — in a new house in Manorville being built by Homes for Our Troops.
Money for gift card came through a year’s worth of fundraising events run by the Ladies Auxiliary, which included yard sales, raffles and arts and crafts shows, said Dot Charnews, the group’s co-president.
“It worked out beautifully,” she said.
Mr. Costello was a Vietnam veteran and active volunteer for the Greenport American Legion. He had helped lead the restoration of the historic rink at the Burton Potter American Legion Hall on Third Street, and was honored as one of The Suffolk Times’ Civic People of the Year in 2011.
Mr. Costello died suddenly in 2012. He was 63.
George’s brothers, John and Tom Costello, unveiled the memorial plaque during the Tuesday morning ceremony, where Tom spoke about George’s dedication to his community.
“If George was still here, he would say ‘Thank you for allowing me to be on your team to help Greenport,'” Mr. Costello said.
Later tonight, Tuesday, the Southold Rotary Club will be hosting a special dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Soundview restaurant in Greenport. The dinner is free to veterans.
The event will include an expert speaker on veteran affairs and literature outlining benefits for veterans.