After graduating from MacArthur High School in the fall of 1994, United States Marine Corps Veteran Sgt. Peter D’Angelo attended one semester at C.W. Post before he decided to drop out and join the military.
“I couldn’t afford it,” D’Angelo said, “so I enlisted.”
Once finished with his basic training at Paris Island, S.C., D’Angelo was assigned to an administrative position in Arlington, Va. There, Deangelo would be put in charge of payroll… until one day when opportunity knocked.
This story first appeared in the Levittown Tribune on Aug. 22, 2014.
“It was a matter of being in the right place, at the right time,” D’Angelo said.
At the recommendation of his gunnery sergeant, D’Angelo would be assigned the React task force — a security team assigned to protect the president.
For D’Angelo, his most exciting memory of the task force was working the inauguration of former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
“We weren’t like the secret service,” he said. “We were a reactionary force.”
In contrast, he said, the most boring moments were working air shows, patrolling Air Force One around the clock.
Honorably discharged in 1999, D’Angelo moved from Dale City, Va., back home to Wantagh, where he married his high school sweetheart.
Today, they have three children, two in the Levittown School District and one in nursery school.
D’Angelo joined the American Legion Post #1711 in Levittown about three or four years ago, and while D’Angelo said he never really used the G.I. Bill to go back to school, through his work with the legion, he has tried to convey that any kids interested in enlisting should attend school before joining the military.
He currently serves as the American Legion’s sergeant-at-arms, which entails overseeing security at the post as well as serving as color guard during the legion’s ceremonies throughout the year. D’Angelo is also the post’s resident chef and an active participant in the legion’s flag etiquette program.