On the morning of Monday, May 14, Bryan Dilberian, a triple amputee military veteran and Fort Hamilton High School alumnus, met with students and faculty at Visitation Academy [8902 Ridge Blvd].
This past February, on Valentine’s – a day normally reserved for sweethearts – the Catholic all-girls prep school’s students held a bake sale in order to raise funds for Dilberian to one day build his dream home – one that will make daily life easier for the Afghanistan vet.
The price tag for the so-called “smart home” – which comes complete with an elevator and a custom-built, handicapped-accessible kitchen – is around $1 million, writes Heather J. Chin for the Home Reporter.
Visitation Academy’s students have raised around $4,000 so far. A humble beginning to a noble goal.
“He risked his life for this country and came back to thank us for something small that we did,” said Kristen, one of the students present.
“It’s very inspiring and exciting to meet him. He’s a hero,” called out Samantha, an eighth grader.
Dilberian, age 26, told Home Reporter that, despite his wounds, he doesn’t regret his choice to enlist.
He does make sure to mention his best friend James Waters, who was killed in action in Afghanistan’s Arghandab Valley – a name that may at first seem exotic in its unfamiliarity yet – depending on how it’s pronounced, can also sound very plain and domestic. Less fluid-sounding than the name James Waters, but perhaps more fitting for such an arid place.
Bryan Dilberian will always remember those two names – words that will share an oddly intertwined connection in the minds of friends, family, and after last Monday – the students of Visitation Academy.