SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Thousands of marines will be coming from near and far to salute one of their brothers, one last time, and a local college is offering those men and women a place to stay.
Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan’s family has invited military members from across the country to join them in saying goodbye to the local hero. Springfield College has volunteered their campus to make sure every service member who wants to attend, can.
Springfield College will house up to 100 military members and their families during Sunday’s wake and Monday’s funeral. Springfield College student Larry Piretra told 22News he thinks it’s great his school has offered up their dorms for a good cause. “Anything that we can do to support the marines I think is a great thing. Just to help whoever is coming in, from wherever they’re coming from in the country, I think is just a great thing for Springfield College,” he said.
Students don’t stay in the dorms in the summer, but the marines will likely get a warm welcome from another group. Craig Kosinski helps run a summer camp at Springfield College, and his campers will be staying right next door to the marines. “We’re going to be right next door. They’re going to be in the dorm Reed and we’ll be in Alumni Hall so, we’re excited to meet these people. I think it’s excellent, and I think there’s a message there,” he said.
A message has already resonated with many of the students at Springfield College. Gregory Mater told 22News it’s the least the college can do to honor the life of a marine whose life ended on the same soil he spent years fighting to defend. “It’s a shame that our country’s come to this, it seems like there’s extremists everywhere, and I think it’s fantastic stepping up to take in all of the marines,” he said.
Springfield College opened the doors to Reed Hall free of charge at 4:00 Sunday afternoon.