Robert Raimondi. 58, of West Islip is a vicar at St. Peter and St. Paul's Anglican Church in North Babylon. He graduated from Farmingdale High School in 1969.

'I was the typical 149-pound, 6-foot-3 boy with the huge afro. A typical child of the times. We would protest . . . I was definitely against the war at the time. I don't know why I was against it. I think I was afraid I was going to wind up in it . . . I would do anything not to have to go . . . I remember the days when you would see the service cars coming through the neighborhood. When they went down the block and stopped, you knew someone had been wounded or killed . . .

advertisement | advertise on newsday

In those days, nobody thought of the future because of the war. You really didn't know if you were going to have a future. At that point you were just living for the day . . . [Kids] were carefree for a reason. Drink and be merry, because tomorrow we die, that was it.

My perspective had changed quite a lot after my father died and I was 17. My whole senior year was a big jolt to me . . . Some of the things that I was wanting [became] nonsensical. People worried about dates and proms. These things all of a sudden had no value to me. There was a much more serious issue on the table. I didn't know what would happen."