Faith Harrington and Children on the Today Show

Posted June 2nd, 2010 by admin

Faith Harrington and Harrington children on the Today Show for the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund.

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Bruins Game Jersey for Josh Harrington

Posted April 14th, 2010 by admin

This past weekend, Faith Harrington and son Josh, attended a Bruins game with the Massachusetts Soldier’s Legacy Organization. The Massachusetts Soldier’s Legacy Organization had a surprise for Josh Harrington, he was brought down to the ice and had a meet and great with the players.  They also arranged for a player of Josh’s choice to give him a game jersey.

Knowing that number 17 was his fathers favorite number, Josh chose #17, Milan Lucic.

Below are the picture from that wonderful day. Thank you Massachusetts Soldier’s Legacy Organization and the Boston Bruins for making it possible! Josh had an amazing time!

April 21, 2009 6:00 AM

BOSTON — Of all of Justin Masterson’s statistical numbers as Monday’s winning pitcher for the Red Sox, the most impressive might have been his age. At 24, Masterson’s already been (and will continue to be) a critical piece of a championship-level team.

He’s hardly alone. Dustin Pedroia was 24 through much of his MVP season last year, as was Jon Lester during his breakout 2008. Jacoby Ellsbury had one of the greatest World Series ever as a 24-year-old in 2007.

All four young men stood and applauded on Monday, joining tens of thousands at Fenway Park to salute two other 24-year-olds who gave so much more: Army Sgt. Kyle Harrington and Army Spc. Peter Enos, both of whom lost their lives abroad in service to their country.

“Once you meet some of these families and once you meet some of these kids, it really turns into something much more meaningful,” said Peter Trovato, founder of the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund, which offers college tuition to the children of servicemen killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. “We’re helping out great people — great Americans.”

In honor of Patriots Day, the children of South Dartmouth’s Enos, Swansea’s Harrington and Special Forces Staff Sgt. Christopher Piper Sr. of Marblehead threw out the ceremonial first pitch before a chilly 12-1 win over Baltimore.

Following a fife and drum rendition of the national anthem, the quintet walked with family members to in front of the mound, saluted by the same crowd that moments earlier had sang out the anthem while Fenway’s Green Monster-sized flag flapped in the breeze.

The five children ranged from toddlers to teens, and were respectively aware of what they were doing. Piper’s teenage children marveled throughout. Five-year-old Marcus Enos kept asking his mother Shannon for peanuts. (“He’s talking about all the stuff he gets after,” she said with a laugh.)

Six-year-old Joshua Harrington, four years older than his sister Kaylee, spent much of his pregame time playing in the dirt behind the plate, shoveling handfuls of it into a drainage ditch.

Kyle Harrington Children Throw First Pitch

Kyle Harrington Children Throw First Pitch

The kids are among the more than 60 children of Massachusetts servicemen who were killed in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. It’s a group that Trovato’s Legacy Fund already has raised more than $3 million for in four-plus years. The fund began while Trovato was a senior at UMass Amherst, and was an outgrowth of his community service work while a member of the school’s hockey team.

Wanting to form something that wasn’t simply piggybacked off another organization, he thought back to his work that summer under state Rep. Michael F. Rush. Trovato would read newspapers to keep Rush abreast of his district, with the toughest those involving children who lost fathers killed in action.

One of the first such stories, he said, was that of Enos, whose patrol vehicle was struck by a grenade in April 2004.

“Let’s keep that sacrifice that you read about in the paper. Let’s try to honor that through their kids,” Trovato said Monday, recalling the group’s beginnings of a $50 donation from his parents and drives at Minutemen games. “Here I was playing college hockey. My weekend was a lot different than their dad’s weekends.”

It continues to grow, today primarily raising funds via an annual breakfast — last November’s brought more than $1 million. Piper’s children will be among the first to receive payouts from the fund: $10,000 per year of college, with no selection process. All children of a serviceman or woman whose home of record was in Massachusetts qualify.

“Every soldier that has a Massachusetts home address, when they enter active duty from Massachusetts, they now qualify for this foundation,” said Bill Ramsey, one of the fund’s trustees and himself a veteran of both fronts. “To the best of our knowledge, we’ve covered every single soldier.”

That’s more than 80 thus far, with those children, according to Trovato, an average age of 8.

Ramsey said the first-pitch offer was extended to every family the fund sponsors, and Monday’s group comprised those who said yes. Enos’ widow, Shannon, who has relocated first to San Antonio, Texas, then to North Carolina out of fondness for the East Coast, said it was a pretty neat thing to experience.

“We had a closed service for Peter on this day five years ago,” she said. “It’s significant that we’re here.”

Harrington’s widow, Faith, said her husband was a Red Sox fan.

“I figured it would be an opportunity the kids would never get again,” she said. “Even if they don’t appreciate it now, they’ll realize it when they’re older.”

Kyle died this January in a forklift accident in Iraq. He had sought to join the military before they met, Faith said, with his inspiration — once they had children — shifting to building a future for his family.

“I didn’t enjoy being there without my husband,” she said after a cold day in the ballpark, “but it was nice seeing the kids’ faces.

“It’s nice to know that people care.”

Among the thousands who showed her on Monday was Manny Delcarmen. The Boston reliever who truly established himself as a major leaguer at age 24 in 2006 was among the five players who caught the ceremonial pitches and shared a moment with the children on the field.

“We gave high fives to the little kids and just said thank you to them. Man, we’re clapping and celebrating, but it must be tough on the kids not having their dads,” said Delcarmen, whose son turns 2 in September. “It’s definitely tough, and we definitely appreciate what they do for us.

“We play baseball every day. They’re the ones that make it happen.”

Jon Couture covers the Red Sox for The Standard-Times.