Below is a letter of thanks by Martin Stephen Torres, a student at St. Francis Preparatory School, who represented Queens County at New York State Boys State in 2008.  He was elected Lieutenant Governor, the second highest position in the program. 

Martin Stephen Torres

Mr. James T. Kasprzak
Auburndale Post #123
198-09 33"1 Avenue
Flushing, New York 11358 

Dear Mr. Kasprzak:


Thank you so much for granting me the opportunity to attend American Legion 2008 Boys State of New York.  I was truly inspired by the program at Morrisville.  It was a great experience and one that I will always cherish and never forget.  Please extend my profound gratitude to the Commander, Officers, and Membership of The American Legion Auburndale Post No. 123 for selecting and sponsoring me as a delegate.


The Boys State experience was nothing like I expected it to be.  During my stay at Morrisville, I learned the intricacies of our government, the stress of politics and the intensity of the Marine Corps.  I was a very educational yet enjoyable experience.  Meeting all these young men of the same age but with different ethnicities, hometowns and political beliefs triggered some of the most stimulating conversations I ever had.


Despite the long hours, fast pace and the distance from my loved ones, I really enjoyed Boys State.  All the Caucuses; City, County, Party and State were extremely hectic but very organized at the same time.  It really gave me a good sense of what real politics are like.


Morning PT was not my favorite thing to do so early in the day.  Our Marine, Staff Sergeant Velazquez, seemed so awake and alert at such an early hour while most of my county was still half-asleep.  I have always had respect for, all of our armed forces but never had a chance to meet with any before.  It was very interesting learning all the marches and lingo.  The level of respect that a Marine demands and gives is incredible.


I won two positions during my stay at Morrisville.  I was the Mayor of the City of McNamara and Lt. Governor of Boys State New York.  It was a new experience for me; I never spoke in front of that many people before.  The speeches I had to give presented very intimidating times for me.  I often had little time to prepare and I was very scared at what I would say.  But after I gave my speech for Lt. Governor and when I was announced the victor it was a very gratifying moment.  I remember the first people who congratulated me after my appointment were you and Mr. Harry McMahon, soon after everyone at Morrisville referred to me a Lieutenant Governor.  I am forever grateful to have attended Boys State New York.


If you ever need any help with anything within your American Legion Post, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I will gladly volunteer my time to assist you in any way possible.


I extend my most sincere gratitude and respect on this Veterans Day.  Thank you for serving our country in the greatest way possible.  It is an honor to have met you, a true American hero.  May God bless.



Martin Stephen Torres