Civilians and soldiers reaffirm their relationship

Fort Hamilton Army Base officials and representatives from the surrounding community met on Friday, September 21, for a Community Covenant signing ceremony.

The ceremony is meant to “further cement the harmonious relationship between the civilian community outside of our gates,” according to Fort Hamilton’s Community Relations Officer Cathy Santo Pietro.

“It’s not necessary,” she said, “but this helps everyone to truly understand what we have with each other.”

The Fort Hamilton Citizen’s Action Committee took the lead in organizing the event, gathering political, military and community leaders at the fort to sign the new covenant.

“We try to represent the community at large,” said Fort Hamilton Citizen’s Action Committee President William Guarinello.

There was a good “cross-section of people” present, he added. Among those were Assemblymembers Peter Abbate, Nicole Malliotakis and Alec Brook-Krasny, State Senator Marty Golden, City Councilmember Vincent Gentile, base commander Colonel Eluyn Gines, Command Sergeant Major Hector Prince, numerous army families and veterans, and a number of community representatives.

Guarinello called his speech at the event his attempt to “speak for the community,” and reaffirm its support for the base.

“It’s the only fort in the five boroughs,” he said. “We realize its significance and hope to keep engaging the community to support it.”

The event was capped by the signing of the covenant. Looking back on the ceremony, Guarinello said he was happy to see that everyone in the community and the fort, especially its new commander, were “in agreement about our relationship and its future.”

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