Flag Flies for Frank Arcuri

Flag Flies for Frank Arcuri photo

In its mission to take history out of the textbooks by honoring a local veteran each month of the school year, the Hampton Bays School District is paying tribute to Frank Arcuri by flying an American flag in his honor throughout the month of December.

“The district is proud to honor Mr. Arcuri for his bravery and service to the United States,” said Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Denise Sullivan.

Mr. Arcuri, a Marine Corps veteran, was honored at a ceremony held on Dec. 8 at Hampton Bays Elementary School. During the ceremony, high school senior Oscar Mora, who has enlisted in the Army, read Mr. Arcuri’s biography while fellow student, Marin Smith read her winning Voice of Democracy essay. The high school Select Choir and the marching band also performed during the ceremony. The event culminated with the raising of the flag on the district’s flagpole. 

Frank Arcuri was born in 1943 in a hospital in Port Jefferson although his family lived in Patchogue. There were no hospitals in the Patchogue area and the hospital in Port Jefferson was the closest one. 

He attended public schooling in Patchogue and graduated from Patchogue High School in 1960. Immediately after graduation, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and was sent to Parris Island, South Carolina for boot camp. 

After a grueling 13 weeks, Mr. Arcuri graduated Marine boot camp and was sent to Camp Geiger for 59 days for advanced infantry training. Camp Geiger is a satellite camp of Camp Lejeune and is located in North Carolina. Upon finishing his training, he was assigned to the Second Marine Division at Camp Lejeune and given an office job. It lasted about six months before he put in a request to be transferred overseas. 

Mr. Arcuri was then sent to the Brooklyn Navy Yard but was found to be too short for embassy duty or for ship duty. So, he was sent to Quantico, Virginia where he was assigned to a Training/ Demonstration School. This school trained officer candidates in tactical warfare by having them go through mock battle scenarios. In these mock battles, Mr. Arcuri was one of the enlisted men who posed as the enemy.

He was honorably discharged in 1963 and was awarded the Marine Good Conduct Medal. He also earned the expert rifleman’s medal with the M1 rifle and the marksman’s medal with the Colt .45 pistol. 

After being discharged, Mr. Arcuri moved to Brooklyn and became a steamfitter and joined the steamfitter’s union. He remained as a steamfitter for 30 years and then retired. 

Mr. Arcuri first met his future wife, Teresa, years before when she was just a kid, but it wasn’t until many years later when he saw her again while attending his cousin’s wedding that he really noticed her. They dated and were married in 1963, only a few months after his discharge. The pair have two daughters, Dianne and Teresa. The entire family lived in Brooklyn until his daughter Teresa married and moved to Hampton Bays where her husband’s family had a home. When Teresa’s first child was born, Mr. Arcuri and his wife moved to Hampton Bays. 

Mr. Arcuri is a life member of the Marine Corps League, a member of the American Legion Hand Aldrich Post for 14 years and also a member of the Legion Riders Motorcycle Group. He also enjoys spending some of his free time fishing.