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East County Wednesday, Mar. 24, 2010 7 years ago

Army captain thanks BRE students

by: Jen Blanco Sports Editor

RIVER CLUB — U.S. Army Capt. Bradley Denisar always makes sure to carry a special coin with him wherever he goes.

The unit coin not only signifies his military rank but also it could save him from having to buy a fellow officer a drink in the event he’s challenged to produce the coin.

Denisar has received a number of coins over the past six years, including one from the Army chief of staff in 2008, but perhaps no coin is more important than the one he received from his mother Diana, a kindergarten teacher at Braden River Elementary School, last week.

“I never thought in a million years that my mom would be presenting me with a coin,” said Denisar, who returned from Afghanistan Dec. 13.

On March 18, Diana Denisar presented the coin to her son during the school’s Wrangler News on behalf of local VFW posts.

“We are very excited that he got to come home and proud of him that he did his share,” Diana Denisar said. “Whenever I would worry about him he would always tell me, ‘Mom I’m a soldier. I’m trained to do this,’ and that (helped) get me through it.”

Prior to receiving his coin, Denisar spoke with Principal Randy Mungillo about what it was like spending 13-and-one-half months living, training and fighting in Afghanistan.

“The truth is there are no words to describe what it’s like to be gone for 13-and-a-half months,” Denisar said. “I didn’t expect all this. I just want to say thanks to the kids and the local community because it really meant a lot.”

During his time in Afghanistan, Denisar’s unit assisted in the country’s historic presidential election, endured temperatures ranging from 60 to 130 degrees and interacted with local children, among other tasks.

Denisar also thanked the students for their generosity during the school’s Give a Hoot, Donate your Loot campaign. The school donated nearly 500 pounds of Halloween candy to Denisar’s unit.

“Thank you for providing us with the candy … a lot of it made it into the hands of the local kids, and they really enjoyed it,” Denisar said. “There was plenty to go around.”

Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].

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