By: Domenic Gatto
After transferring from the U.S. Naval Reserves, I enrolled as a soldier in the U.S. Army. In 1967, I embarked on a mission to serve my country in the Vietnam conflict. Over the next few years, I fought alongside my fellow soldiers. My military training while enlisted includes basic training, advanced infantry training, jump school, and eventually paratrooper training. I also enrolled in a non-commissioned officers training course at the U.S. Army Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia. This school educates several different brigades and battalions on proper use of equipment and basic and advanced combat and individual training.
I graduated as a Sergeant from my training courses. While in Vietnam, I put the skills I learned throughout my formal training to use. I was eventually honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in March 1969, after being wounded in the line of duty. In the next few years, I started taking the necessary steps that would start my professional career. The leadership qualities and traits I learned through the U.S. Army provided me with the tools I needed to be successful in my years of service, and I will never forget the men who fought with me in Vietnam. Many war heroes were lost during the conflict, and I am proud of my involvement with the military during these trying years.
Domenic Gatto, Chairman and shareholder of Eagle Oaks Golf & Country Club continues his tour of the Johnny Miller-designed championship course with a description of the back nine holes.
Domenic Gatto - Course Tour Part 1
Hole 10: The 426-yard par four offers a challenging tee shot, but then golfers have a straight trek to the small green with a narrow, angled approach and bunker protection.
Hole 11: Although this par three is only 190 yards, most of it is water. The long, narrow green sits as an island with a bunker on the backside.
Hole 12: At 438 yards, this par four hole has it all. The tee shot sails over water to tree-lined, angled fairway. Trees and a bunker line the green.
Hole 13: While it is not long by par four standards, this 397-yard hole ups the difficulty by adding 14 bunkers surrounding the green and fairway.
Hole 14: A hidden green with a narrow approach requires careful planning to navigate this 399-yard par four hole. Watch out for the trees on the right.
Hole 15: At 453 yards, this par four has water to the left of the narrow green, and thick trees behind it. A good layer of rough blocks the approach, so plan your fairway shot carefully.
Hole 16: This 207-yard par three provides a challenging trek to reach the bunkered green.
Hole 17: Water, rough, bunkers, trees, and narrow fairways mark the approach to a tucked in green along this 494-yard par five.
Hole 18: The trip back to the clubhouse starts with a blind tee shot that takes you around a tree-lined bend with a challenging mid-fairway bunker. Two bunkers protect the approach to the long, narrow green, and one sits behind it.
By Domenic Gatto
In addition to his work as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic Express Transportation Corp., Chairman of Eagle Oaks Golf, and Country Club, Domenic Gatto supports the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide (SPTS).
Founded in 2006 by Scott Fritz and Don Quigley, two fathers of teenagers lost to suicide, SPTS seeks to provide teens and families with essential services to end teenage suicide. With the help of several close friends and suicide prevention experts, Fritz and Quigley founded SPTS to raise awareness of teen suicide risks across the country. According to its statement of values, the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide maintains a firm commitment to the value of life and the efficacy of suicide prevention efforts. In addition to eliminating the stigma that surrounds suicide, SPTS believes that information and education can have a dramatic impact in the fight to save lives. SPTS draws upon a special combination of business knowledge and mental health expertise to establish suicide prevention programs at the local, state, and national levels. By enacting these measures, SPTS hopes to become a leading resource on youth suicide prevention.
The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide provides a number of teen-specific resources, including a 24-hour lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. The SPTS website contains valuable information for teens struggling with a variety of issues, including the passing of loved ones and relationship problems. The website includes information and resources for teens whose friends are talking about suicide. Parents and educators benefit from the SPTS website, which provides valuable advice on how to approach the subject with teenagers. By educating caretakers about the risk factors and warning signs associated with teen suicide, SPTS hopes to reinforce the notion that teenagers are not alone and that their lives are infinitely valuable. To learn more about the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide or to access the suicide prevention lifeline, visit the website at www.sptsnj.org.
By: Domenic Gatto
I left high school my senior year in 1967 to volunteer for service in Vietnam. Transferring from the US Naval Reserves to the Army, I completed basic training and advanced infantry training before undertaking jump school and becoming a paratrooper. I subsequently attended non-commissioned officers training at infantry school at Fort Benning, Georgia, graduating as a Sergeant. In March 1969 I was honorably discharged after being wounded in the line of duty. I founded New Jersey-based Atlantic Express Transportation Corp. in 1972 as a Vietnam veteran suffering from significant wartime injuries.
I have never forgotten the difficulties experienced by those with physical challenges, even as I developed the company into the third-largest bus transportation company in the U.S. Long before such equipment was common, we undertook pioneering work at the Atlantic Express Paratransit Division, working with specialists to design vans, mini-buses, and sedans conforming to the needs of the elderly and the physically challenged. Today Atlantic Express Transportation maintains one of the largest Paratransit fleets in the country. Our lift-equipped vehicles provide door-to-door service, with all drivers given training on accommodating people with disabilities. Our regularly scheduled driver workshops offer a wide range of specialized skills such as CPR, first aid, safe driving, passenger assistance, and comprehensive knowledge about disabilities.
I feel privileged to help those with disabilities and serious health conditions in my personal life as well. I support several schools with annual scholarships for special education children and contribute to the Deborah Heart and Lung Center, which operates a cost-free 139-bed specialty teaching hospital in Staten Island, New York. I also support the Stephen Siller Children`s Foundation, which provides support to men and women who serve in the military and return home with serious injuries. It is the least we can do as a community, providing support for those who have put their lives at risk for their country.
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