Farewell To A Hero – QNS.com

Farewell To A Hero

As Army Pfc. James Prevete was eulogized and laid to rest on Monday at Holy Trinity Church, his family and friends remembered a man who was much more than a war hero. They remembered the 22-year-old football star who was loved by all in his Whitestone neighborhood.
"He was always a searcher and wasnt afraid to try new and different things," said the Rev. James Fraser of Holy Trinity Church, a family friend.
Joseph Licata, a teacher at Saint Francis Preparatory (SFP) in Fresh Meadows Prevetes alma mater coached the fallen soldier in football.
"He was a very determined, very disciplined young man," said Licata. "One of the fondest memories I have of him is how right after the Star Spangled Banner or after a special play he would look up at his mother in the stands and hold up a clenched fist, as if he was dedicating the game to her."
Last year Prevete visited SFP, and according to Licata, was extremely proud of having joined the army.
"He was so proud of the fact that he had made it he believed in the cause and in what he was doing  there was no question in his mind what he was doing was right."
For his service to his country, Prevete was given a full military funeral. Draped in an American flag, his casket was carried by members of the Army honor guard.
The private funeral services, which began with a wake held at the Martin A. Gleason Funeral Home in Whitestone, were attended by more than 500 mourners.
Fraser, who delivered the homily, recalled Prevete as being a determined man whose final act of courage spoke multitudes of his character.
"His mind was turned to the army," Fraser told The Queens Courier. "It was his calling. He was literally willing to give his life to his country."
Borough President Helen Marshall issued the following statement upon Prevetes death.
"Our hearts and prayers are with the family, friends and loved ones of Army Private James Prevete, an American patriot who made the ultimate sacrifice by dying in the line of duty for his country. By all accounts, Private Prevete was an outstanding young man, dedicated to his family, his faith, community and country. Like so many veterans, he has left us with a debt that we can never repay."
In the 506th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Divisions 2nd Brigade, Prevete was killed on October 10 when the military vehicle he had been riding in crashed during a blinding sandstorm in Habbaniya. He had been overseas just eight months at the time of the tragedy, which came during the same week as his mothers birthday and the anniversary of his grandmothers death.
Interment was at St. Marys Cemetery in Yonkers.
He leaves behind his parents Jean and William, a sister, Laura, 17, a girlfriend and scores of classmates and friends.
Pending the familys approval, Licata would like to retire Prevetes jersey, #58, at a ceremony in January.
E-mail this reporter at toni@queenscourier.com .

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