Wakefield Police Officer Flew Flag for Wakefield While in Iraq

19Aug11

WPD Officer Flew Flag for Wakefield While Deployed in IraqWhile Wakefield Police Officer Michael Pietrantonio was deployed last year with the United States Air Force in Iraq, he was very appreciative of the local support he received and the efforts made by the Wakefield Police Department and his fellow WPD officers to stay in touch while he was away serving in the 332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron.

“We have a practice in our department to make sure we check up on our personnel and their families while they’re deployed,” Wakefield Police Chief Rick Smith told the Board of Selectmen Monday night before introducing Pietrantonio.

To show his gratitude for all the support he received, Officer Pietrantonio presented the town with an American flag and a document certifying that he had that flag flown over the Joint Forces Base Balad in Iraq on behalf of the Town of Wakefield.

Pietrantonio, a Wakefield resident, explained that the flag was actually flown both under the old Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as on the first day of Operation New Dawn.

Chairman Patrick Glynn said that he felt “humbled” by Pietrantonio’s gesture. “It’s us who should be thanking you,” Glynn told Pietrantonio, “for your service to your country and your service to the town as a police officer.”

Selectman Albert Turco and other members of the board echoed Glynn’s sentiments. John Encarnacao stressed the sacrifices made by both Pietrantonio and his family as a result of his deployment.

Selectman Betsy Sheeran thanked Pietrantonio and commended the Police Department for its practice of keeping in close contact with its officers while they are on military deployment.

Smith said that in addition to the pride that Officer Pietrantonio takes in his job and his military service, he has another reason to be proud.

“He’s a brand new father,” Smith announced.

[This story originally appeared in the August 19, 2011 Wakefield Daily Item.]

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