Flag flies for David Dorchak

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In continuing 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 U.S. Navy veteran David Dorchak by flying an American flag in his honor throughout the month of October.

“The district is proud to honor Mr. Dorchak for his bravery and service to the United States,” said Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen. 

Dorchak was recognized on Oct. 19 with a ceremony at Hampton Bays Elementary School. During the tribute, middle school students read his biography and recited their original patriotic essays. The event culminated with the raising of the flag on the school’s flagpole. 

Dorchak was born on Feb. 5, 1967 at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson and grew up in Hauppauge. He attended St. John of God parochial school from first through eighth grade and then enrolled in St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School, graduating in 1985.

Upon graduation, Dorchak attended SUNY Maritime College, located at Fort Schuyler in the Bronx, under an ROTC scholarship. He graduated in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and received his third mate license from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. After graduation, he was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy.

Dorchak continued his schooling at Surface Warfare Officers School in Newport, Rhode Island. After graduating in December 1989, he was sent to Weapons Officers School in Dam Neck, Virginia. In February 1990, he was assigned to the USS Oliver Hazard Perry, a type of warship known as a fast frigate, and was designated an engineering and deck officer. While on the USS Perry, he completed his qualifications as a surface warfare officer.

In March 1993, Dorchak took an instructor development course. Upon completion, he was assigned back to Surface Warfare Officers School, where he became an instructor. He left active duty in July 1995 but continued to serve in the Navy Reserve until October 2009, when he was honorably discharged. During his time in the Navy, he was awarded four Navy Commendation Medals and two Navy Achievement Medals.

In 1995, after leaving active duty, Dorchak took a job as security dean and coach in the Port Jervis City School District. He continued there until 1998, when he became a Southampton Village police officer. He and his wife moved to Hampton Bays in August 1999, and in 2007, he was promoted to sergeant at the Southampton Village Police Department.
 Dorchak met his wife, Christine, while the two were enrolled at SUNY Maritime. The couple married in May 1981. They have two children: a daughter, Schuyler, who is a senior at Hampton Bays High School; and a son, Braeden, who is a freshman at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School.

Dorchak is a member of the American Legion Hand-Aldrich Post 924 as well as the Knights of Columbus. For the last six years, he has also coached basketball, baseball, football and lacrosse.