West Akron recruiter honored at PGA TOUR event
August 10, 2012
By Kathleen Folkerth, Akron.com
SOUTH AKRON, Ohio-- Army recruiter Sgt. 1st Class Todd Fitzwater was among a dozen local soldiers honored by the Birdies for the Brave program at the World Golf Championship—Bridgestone Invitational Aug. 4.
Fitzwater and his fellow honorees were nominated by the Northeast Ohio Foundation for Patriotism, a Hudson-based group created to be of service to local military personnel and their families.
Fitzwater was nominated for his work at Firestone High School, where he worked with teacher Heather Curry in her Administrative Office Technologies class, as well as teacher Rose Van Valien’s Business Finance class. He mentored students in the classes for three years, Curry said.
“He would talk to the kids about character and respect,” Curry said. “He chaperoned events, worked with the kids on their college applications and helped them come up with potential employers. Todd helped them make wiser choices in their plans for the future. He was a blessing in disguise.”
Fitzwater, who also is involved with the HALO Foundation’s 93 Cents for Flight 93 campaign, also taught the students about United Flight 93, the fourth plane hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001. The plane crashed into a Shanksville, Pa., field after the passengers and crew made a plan to retake the plane from the hijackers.
Fitzwater and the teachers oversaw students in the Business Professionals of America (BPA) program at Firestone as they created a presentation for their regional and state competition. The students presented the story of Flight 93 to 8,000 members of the BPA, HALO officials said.
Before Fitzwater left for a new assignment in Rochester, N.Y., HALO officials said he introduced Sgt. Robert Hicks to the Firestone teachers and students. Hicks then mentored the students until he was reassigned to Virginia.
Hicks also was honored at the PGA TOUR event, along with the Army’s Sgt. Jonathan Van Arsdale, Sgt. William Gromacki, Sgt. Joseph Storesina, Sgt. Todd Schafer and Sgt. Cheyenne Posey; the Coast Guard’s Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Walworth and Petty Officer 1st Class Ben Philpot; the Navy’s Chief Select Jacob Bickett and Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas Hall; and the Marines’ Gunnery Sgt. Carl Nelson Jr.
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