The Conestoga High School boys’ varsity lacrosse team has had a special fan cheering them on this season – Staff Sergeant Mathew Paski, Space Operations Specialist of the US Air Force currently stationed at Thule Air Base, Greenland.
Staff Sergeant Paski recently came to Conestoga to personally thank the Pioneers’ team for their donations of “Comforts from Home” care packages sent to his troops in Greenland. He attended a practice and spoke to the players about the importance of personal integrity and teamwork.
Earlier this season, Conestoga junior midfielder Tate Kienzle coordinated the team’s collection of snack foods, personal items, and other comforts from home, and the team also sent personal notes and cards that were included with the care packages.
In conjunction with an effort by St. Norbert’s Parish, the lacrosse players’ donations were sent to three local servicemen and their troops deployed in Iraq and Greenland, including Staff Sergant Paski, whose parents are parishoners at St. Norbert.
Sargeant Paski joined the team on the sidelines for its recent Central League win over Ridley, after which he presented Kienzle and the team with a “Challenge Coin” – a military tradition and honor used to acknowledge hard work and excellence.
The team plans to continue their support of Sergeant Paski and U.S. troops long after the season ends. Several Conestoga graduates will be deploying in the next year and the team has committed to showing their support.
Kienzle said, “We hope that this small gesture can help our deployed servicemen and women know that we are thinking of them and that we appreciate their service.”