Wall will honor military members killed while serving

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published February 14, 2017

WARREN — When Warren Mott High School graduate Marcus Bawol was killed while serving in the military two years ago, students and staff paid tribute to him by creating a Wall of Honor in his memory.

A showcase in a school hallway features photos of the late service member, his school jacket, medals and an American flag.

The tribute touched the hearts of the Mott community so much that plans are underway to expand the Wall of Honor to keep alive the memories of all Warren Mott military men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. The Wall of Honor will also include Mott High graduates and those of Warren High before the schools merged to become Warren Mott. Warren Mott is part of Warren Consolidated Schools.

A group of students — under the direction of 11th-grade English teacher David Oravec — are working together to create an expanded Wall of Honor inside the school’s front lobby. Oravec said the goal is to have the Wall of Honor in place before Memorial Day, and a dedication ceremony is planned.

The students will meet on a regular basis after school to discuss the project. They last met Feb. 8 and talked about contacting local Veterans of Foreign Wars halls and military recruiting centers to let others know about their project.

The students are reaching out to find military members to include on the Wall of Honor. The goal is to have a plaque for each member of all military branches killed in the line of duty who attended Warren, Mott or Warren Mott.

Bawol graduated from Warren Mott in 2006. The U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant was one of 11 people killed during a helicopter training mission on March 10, 2015, in Santa Rosa Sound off the Gulf of Mexico, east of Pensacola, Florida. Bawol enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2007. Last year, the school’s National Honor Society established the Marcus Bawol Memorial Scholarship.

Junior Talene Sarkissian wanted to be a part of the project.

“I just have a great respect for the people that serve our country,” she said. “They do something I could probably never do.”

Junior Jonathan Shy is responsible for collecting the names of the fallen. His stepfather, David Lowe, was in the U.S. Navy during Desert Storm. Several other family members have also served in the military, prompting Shy’s interest in the Wall of Honor.

Both of ninth-grader Noah Plaxco’s great-grandfathers on his mother’s side of the family served in the military during World War II. Both veterans died before Plaxco was born, but the freshman has gotten to know them a bit through photographs.

“I have great respect for them,” he said, adding that one of the men was a mechanic and “worked on tanks” during the war.

Juniors Danela Benyamen, Sungetha Ali and Adhraa Benyamen also attended last Wednesday’s meeting.

Oravec said the students will solicit funds from local businesses to pay for the plaques, which will include the service member’s name, military branch, years of service and where he or she served. Oravec has a soft spot for the military because his dad served during the Korean War and three uncles served during World War II.

If you would like to submit the name of a loved one who attended Warren, Mott or Warren Mott high schools who died while serving, contact Jonathan Shy via email at 830309@student.wcskids.net.

To make a monetary donation, contact David Oravec via email at oravecd@wcskids.net.