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FallenOn May 25, 2019, the 67th Recruit Officer Course (ROC) of Plymouth Police Academy was honored to participate in Operation Flags for Vets at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

Operation Flags for Vets is an event sponsored by the SFC Jared C. Monti Charitable Foundation. The foundation was established in memory of United States Army veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti. SFC Monti was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 21, 2006 during Operation Enduring Freedom.

The 67th ROC, along with Senior Staff Instructor Officer Sean Percy, Staff Instructor Sergeant Christopher Butler, and PT Instructor Officer Victoria Wagner, joined thousands of other attendees at the event. Among the volunteers were families, police officers, military veterans, motorcycle groups, high school athletic teams, boy scouts, girl scouts, and many more. Together, we were all present for one common purpose – to honor our nation’s heroes, and to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The morning began with a ceremony at the Avenue of Flags, and included the pledge of allegiance, singing of The Star-Spangled Banner, and playing of taps. The ceremony speakers, such as Governor Charlie Baker, emphasized the significance of Memorial Day and what Operation Flags for Vets stands for. After the ceremony, volunteers assisted in placing approximately 77,000 flags on the graves of our beloved veterans.

The 67th ROC marched to Section 41 of the National Cemetery to place our flags and pay special tribute to Corporal Dennis J. Lynch, Academy Director Goodick’s father. Corporal Lynch served with the United States Marine Corps and was laid to rest in 2011.

While there, we happened to cross paths with Deputy Chief Steven G. Xiarhos of the Yarmouth Police Department, who was in attendance to honor and celebrate his son’s life. His son, Marine Corporal Nicholas G. Xiarhos, was killed in action by a roadside bomb on July 23, 2009 during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. At the time of his death, he was en route to rescue fellow Marines who were in combat. Deputy Chief Xiarhos spoke to the 67th about Nicholas’ life and the fact that he was known for his care for others. Nicholas made a difference in this world and was a true, highly decorated, American Patriot. For the members of the 67th ROC, Deputy Chief Xiarhos’ words of wisdom will remain with us throughout our careers.

We then continued our march to Section 21B to pay respect to Petty Officer Third Class David C. Wagner of the United States Navy. PO3 Wagner is the father of Plymouth Police Academy PT Instructor and Sudbury Police Officer Victoria Wagner.

The 67th ROC was proud to take part in such a remarkable event dedicated to remembering those who have given us our freedom. It was a truly serene and emotional setting as we looked upon the hills filled with our nation’s colors. To all military veterans, thank you for your service. To those who made the ultimate sacrifice, we will never forget you

Content of this blog respectfully submitted by Student Officer Camden Bruno – Marshfield PD
Photos respectfully submitted by Student Officer Felix Perez, III – Mattapoisett PD
Academy Director Eileen M.L. Goodick

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