Tue. May 21st, 2024

This postmaster coaches athletes with disabilities

April 4, 2024


My name is Frank Anzaldi and I’m the postmaster in Smithtown, NY, which is on Long Island.

I am a third-generation postal employee. My grandfather retired as a supervisor at FDR Station in Manhattan in the early 1980s. My father is a retired letter carrier from Mineola, NY.

I started in 1997 as a letter carrier in Long Beach, NY.

The Postal Service has been putting food on our tables for 70 years.

I am also a certified track and field coach, and I am working on obtaining my archery certification. Every Saturday, I coach the Navigators Adaptive Sports Club in New Jersey.

It’s a club that provides training and competitive athletic opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities, both intellectual and physical.

In May, we have our biggest event: the 2024 Tri-State Regional Wheelchair and Ambulatory Competition. We have athletes come from all over the country to compete and qualify for nationals. Some athletes are training for the Paralympics.

My son, Frankie, competes in track and field — mostly the 1,500- and 3,000-meter events. He has several national records in his disability group.

At 21 years old, he has run 15 half-marathons.

We adopted him from China when he was 5. We learned later that he had a cognitive disability and epilepsy. They said he would never learn to tie his shoes. He is currently training for his first full marathon.

Frankie and I are also members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Band, which performs for veteran functions. He plays the trombone and I play the drums. It’s great for father-and-son bonding.

Frankie learned to read music quickly and excelled at playing the trombone in high school. He does so much to show people what can be accomplished, despite his disability and the fact that he’s had 14 surgeries. When he was younger, all the experts told us everything he would never be able to do. Every day, he works to prove them wrong.

I am a different person now because of Frankie.

“Off the Clock,” a column on Postal Service employees and their after-hours pursuits, appears regularly in Link.

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