Archbishop Williams is proud of the graduates of this school who have served in the Armed Forces. School librarian Mrs. Joanna Sands, in particular, feels both honored and obligated to recognize the service of our veterans. Her daughter Lydia Rose Sands Greta, Class of 2011, is currently serving in the Coast Guard, along with her husband Austin. The Sands’ family history is a story of military service dating back to World War I. For the past few years, Mrs. Sands has created a display in the library that depicts her family’s service.
The display is truly a labor of love. Her Cannata great uncles, Antonio, Andrew, Joseph, George (George Washington Cannata) and Thomas all were veterans of the World War I battles and each came home “safe and unharmed”. During WWII, Thomas served again then joined by brothers Edward and Martin. Dudley Letson, father of Joanna, served in the Korean War as a 17 year old recruit. His brother Robert joined the military as well, losing an eye due to shrapnel wound. Mrs. Sands shares that her “father had difficulty forgetting his experience and rarely wanted to talk about it.” The Vietnam conflict saw the service of uncles and cousins. Mrs. Sands’ nephew Jeremy Letson and Cousin Tony Syrakos did tours in Afghanistan. Jeremy is now in the Reserves while, sadly, Tony died in an accident on base in Kentucky.
The display is vivid with pictures, letters and military memorabilia. Classes have enjoyed a mini field trip to the library where Mrs. Sands proudly shares the stories of her military family. As her daughter Lydia Rose prepares to return to civilian life in 2019, from duty in the San Francisco Bay area, Mrs. Sands smiles broadly and proudly as she acknowledges that her family, for generations, has heard the call of “Anything, Anywhere, Anytime”.