Military university graduate thanks Downey community

U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Alexander Thomas Foskarino, a Downey native, credited his hometown after graduating cum laude from Norwich Senior Military University in Northfield, Vt. last month. Lt. Foskarino, a computer security and assurance major, was commissioned after his graduation.

"It was from the teachings of unsung Downey individuals that kept me going," Lt. Foskarino said. "I encourage the youth in Downey to stop, listen and learn from the experience Downey has available to them.

"For example, the words of Warren's outstanding track coach, Ramon Miranda, would not allow me to slow down before aggressively striding for the finish line. The pride in being worthy of my deployed Marine friends John Min Oh, Bill Winans, Spencer Edmonds, Sean O'Neal and Miguel Dennis drove me on. The fundamentals taught by Warren's fine teachers Kevin Hobbensiefken, Jon Westerman, Rob English and Bill Austin supported my pursuit of a computer security degree.

"Finally, the spiritual sermons from Calvary Chapel Downey's Pastor Jeff Johnson and the love of my doting mother (Rose Foskarino) and grandmothers (Ela Foskarino and Rosa Medina) created the driving force that made it all happen.

"If high school students are looking for a military and academic challenge, I encourage them to look at the three U.S. military academies and six senior military universities; lean on experienced leaders that Downey has to offer; and when done, understand that the adventure has only begun."