HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A 10-year-old who dreams of becoming a Navy Seal and who has been corresponding with an Air Force sergeant based in the Middle East got a special surprise Wednesday.
“The Navy Seals are elite because they can operate any place and almost any time,” said Domenick Pastore.
As CBS2’s Dana Tyler reported, the fifth-grader proved he knows a lot about the Navy Seals with a Power Point presentation given in front of classmates at the Maplewood Intermediate School in Huntington Station.
What Domenick didn’t know, is that the Air Force sergeant he’s been writing to for months about his dream of becoming a Navy Seal was sitting just across the hall, preparing to meet Domenick’s class for the first time.
“A little nervous — hoping the kids are nice to me, don’t take my lunch money or anything,” joked Staff Sgt. Zachary Taillie.
Just moments later, Domenick was practically speechless as his hero walked through the door.
The youngster was most surprised that his classmates knew from their teacher about the visit, but kept it a secret for weeks.
Joshua Thandre, 10, said it wasn’t easy.
“When someone tells you a secret, it’s like tempting to tell everyone,” said Thandre.
Sgt. Taillie has been getting letters from the whole class for months as he served in the Middle East.
Domenick’s parents said the visit is even more special to their son because of a family heartache.
“His sister is sick. She has leukemia and has a poor prognosis and he’s been struggling with everyday life at this time,” explained his mom, Sonrisa.
Sgt. Taillie presented Domenick with a flag from aboard a combat mission over Iraq.
The proud youngster said it only makes him more determined to fulfill his dream of becoming a Navy Seal.
Sgt. Taillie said he’ll be honored to join Domenick’s induction.