On May 25, 2000, we left for Washington D.C. so I could participate in
Rolling Thunder XIII. Our local news, WPXI Channel 11 did a story on me,
the day we left!!!  The story was done by Newlin Archinal and I thank her
and WPXI very much, the story was great!!!!
Local girl speaks about veterans in Washington


This weekend is a time to thank local veterans for their service to our country.
In fact, an 11-year old Springdale Township girl will get a chance to do that in Washington,
D.C. this weekend.

Like a lot of families, the Mendicino's of Springdale Township are packing up for a Memorial
Day weekend road trip.  The destination?  Washington, D.C.  But this is not your typical
family vacation.  She has been asked to speak in front of the reflecting pool with Miss
America.

11-year old Nikki Mendicino has been invited to speak in front of the reflecting pool Sunday
on behalf of prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action. Her speech was prepared
weeks ago.  

Nikki says, "Thank you from the bottom of my heart and welcome home.  People ask me
how I got started."
How she got started as an advocate for P.O.W.'s and M.I.A.'s  is a journey that began 2
years ago.  Nikki met a local veteran who told her about the hardships of WWII and the
Korean and Vietnam conflicts.  When she found out that soldiers were left behind, she
decided right then and there that she had to bring them home.

"I adopted 8 heroes from Vietnam who never came home, " Nikki tells us.

She also wrote letters and started a website. Has even won awards from people like
Governor Ridge, but would "give back everyone of them if our government would bring back
my heroes."  

Nikki's mother, Michelle Mendicino says, "I don't think I could be prouder of her because
she does believe in what's she's doing.  Many times she gets thank-you's "I didn't know
someone your age knew or cared."

A big heart for an 11-year old and now the chance of a lifetime... to convince Washington
that the soldiers who said goodbye, should finally hear welcome back.
Click the banner to visit WPXI's web site and you can learn a little about
Pittsburgh!!!!! Send them an email and tell them "thank you" for covering
my story, they are the only station out of three that covered my D.C. trip
and we called all three channels to tell them about my story! If I did
something violent at school they would have all been there!
Guess my story wasn't good enough for them?
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