Alumni recognized as part of Cadets Hall of Honored Veterans

Richard Santo, Robert T. Messineo, Sr., praised for their service

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Eric Santo, center, and Bob Messineo, right, accept plaques for their fathers who were recognized as alumni of the corps and for their service to their country in the U.S. military. Dr. Richard Santo and Robert T. Messineo, Sr., are the first inductees in 2011 to the Cadets Hall of Honored Veterans.

Dr. Richard Santo
Dr. Santo began his service in the US Army at Fort Dix and transferred to Fort Riley, Kansas. He was shipped out to Germany and attached to the Medical Company. His unit nearly saw action during the Hungarian uprising in 1956 but they were called back.

Santo always felt his time spent in service was among the most important things he did in his life. His boyish enthusiasm for the military never waned his entire life and he always felt a close bond with those he served.

Santo was the Garfield Cadets 12th director from 1979-1982, and is a member of The Cadets Hall of Fame. His son and daughter in law carried on the legacy of the Maroon and Gold in the 1980s and his grandson is currently marching in the 2011 Cadets.

Robert T. Messineo, Sr.
Messineo was a member of the Holy Name Cadets from 1934-1941. He was one of the first fife musicians before he moved to playing snare drum in 1937. Messineo entered the US Army in December 1942.  He trained at Fort Dix, then Fort Jackson, S.C., and was assigned to the 100th Infantry Division 925 Artillery Battalion.

In June 1943 he was shipped to Marcellies, France on the Troop Ship U.S.A.T. George Washington and served in France, Germany, and Italy European Theatre.  He was in 175 days of combat with a total of 3½ years of service.  He returned on the same ship U.S.A.T. George Washington on March 6, 1946.

He was honorably discharged with a rank of Staff Sergeant.  After returning home, Messineo looked up old friends and several months later rejoined the Holy Name Cadets at the American Legion Post 255 in Garfield, playing with alumni in an effort to get an alumni corps off the ground.

The Cadets Hall of Honored Veterans Committee is taking recommendations for inductions into the Hall for the remaining 2011 season. They will be honored at the Aug. 3 drum corps show in West Chester, Pa., and Aug. 7 at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

To make a recommendation of an alumnus who also served, or is currently serving, in the US Armed Forces, CLICK HERE.

For more information on the Cadets Hall of Honored Veterans, contact Eric Santo at

See the full list of veterans who are in the Cadets Hall of Honored Veterans.


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