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“Welcome to Islip, the 3rd largest town in New York State, but with an endearing small town feel. We are so proud of our town…our beaches, golf courses, marinas, parks, housing opportunities for all, businesses, industrial parks, healthcare and educational institutions including our own Islip MacArthur Airport that provides many job opportunities. I sincerely hope you find this website helpful.” - Angie

Naval Commander Gardner walks crosswalk out of ISP saluting those who stand with American flag to either side, welcoming her home.

June 29th, 2020 Navy Commander Diane Gardner returned from Kandahar, Afghanistan to a hero's welcome Friday at the Town of Islip's Long Island MacArthur Airport. The Kings Park resident and mother of four is a graduate of St. Anthony's High School Class of 1987 where she played for the women's softball team.

CDR Gardner was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan in August 2019 as Commander, U.S. Navy where she was appointed Director of Nursing Services for Role 3 Multinational NATO unit at Kandahar Hospital. She was awarded the Bronze Star for Bravery in June 2020.

Fellow Friars from the Class of 1987 through present day joined in welcoming CDR Gardner home with signs celebrating her return. St. Anthony's school administrators Mr. Don Corrao, Development Director at SAHS; Denise Creighton, Alumni Director; Principal Brother David; Assistant Principal Brother Joshua, and Brothers Richard and Joseph were on hand for the celebration.

CDR Gardner is a graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh, where she earned a BS degree in Nursing. She was Commissioned as 2nd LT, U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps, 1991. In 1997, she transferred to the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps to pursue a degree and certification as a Nurse Anesthetist.

She received the Virginia Commonwealth University “Clinical Instructor of the Year” and served as President of the Virginia Association of Nurse Anesthetists as well as the State Director of Nursing for Virginia.

She was the academic co-advisor for nursing students at Bryant & Stratton College, Richmond VA and received the March of Dimes “Nurse Educator of the Year” Award. She was a volunteer in the Mission of Mercy project for Virginia, helping to provide dental services in undeserved areas. Commander Gardner is currently employed at Stony Brook Hospital in the role of Nurse Anesthetist and is also a Nurse Educator at ATI Testing.

CDR Gardner was honored with a hometown parade in Kings Park upon her return.

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