MASTIC, NY – A true hero who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to his country was honored on Tuesday when the Mastic Post Office was renamed and dedicated to Army Specialist Thomas J. Wilwerth.
“It is truly humbling to be a part of a ceremony where you know you are honoring a true hero,” said Suffolk County Legislator Rudy Sunderman, whose district includes Mastic. “Specialist Wilwerth’s name and legacy will live on forever through the dedication of his hometown post office in his name.”
Wilwerth, a William Floyd High school graduate who was active in Junior ROTC, enlisted in the Army Reserves at age 17 in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Specialist Wilwerth was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carlson, Colorado. He was deployed in 2005 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On February 22, 2006, while he was on patrol, an improvised explosive devised detonated near his Bradley Fighting Vehicle, killing him and two other soldiers.
Since Wilwerth’s death, his parents, Terry and Elaine Wilwerth, have been active in the community advocating for all of the brave men and women who serve in the Armed Forces. They have been a staple at the Mastic Fire Department Memorial Day Ceremony, which they always attend in recognition of their son. At the ceremony in 2018, Terry approached Legislator Sunderman, who is also the chief of the Mastic Fire Department, and they discussed ways in which they could honor Specialist Wilwerth’s memory. Terry Wilwerth suggested having the Mastic Post Office dedicated in his son’s name.
“Terry brought the idea to my attention and I said, ‘Let’s make it happen,’” said Legislator Sunderman. “My office contacted Rep. Lee Zeldin and the Congressman took on this issue and introduced legislation to rename the post office.”
On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, friends and family of Specialist Wilwerth joined together to unveil the plaque that reads, “THIS BUILDING IS NAMED IN HONOR OF ARMY SPECIALIST THOMAS J. WILWERTH BY AN ACT OF CONGRESS PUBLIC LAW 116-44 AUGUST 21, 2019”.