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Event Information: Laura Piscopo

Meet Laura Piscopo

Laura Piscopo enlisted in the Army Reserves as a 17 year-old midway through her senior year at Newton North High School. The only girl - and the only student in her graduating class of 600 students - to enlist, Piscopo was well aware of the significance of her undertaking. “This was not the typical path for an unathletic girl who stood at 5’3 and came from an affluent town,” she says.

At a college fair with her mother, Piscopo discovered how to apply her aptitude for linguistics through the Army’s Defense Language Institute and Military Intelligence School programs. Motivated in part by the patriotism that ran high during the Cold War era, Piscopo realized that the Army presented her the opportunity to prove to herself what she was truly capable of.

As she had originally predicted, joining the Army was not easy. The most daunting challenge she faced was the eight weeks of basic training, grueling physical and mental tasks that she and her fellow soldiers were faced with each day. “The embarrassment in feeling that I was letting my fellow soldiers down made me push harder,” Piscopo says. “Every Physical Training test would make me anxious about the 2 Mile Run. Could I do it?”

Thanks to the encouragement of her comrades and her uncle Branson “Mac” MacBurnie, himself a Vietnam Veteran Chief Warrant Officer, she passed the run. “That day was a celebration of achievement both as a group and individually,” she says.

Piscopo concluded her six years of service in 1991, and began her professional career where she is now a Project Manager at MassHealth. Piscopo is also a former Project Manager for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services and currently chairs the Veteran’s Council Board at her alma mater. Her work in which has been recognized by the City of Boston.

To this day, Piscopo thrives on challenges. Thirty years after her military enlistment, she returned to running. It took several years for her to love it, but she did, eventually winning races in her age group. “What created angst was a gift of adversity that I overcame,” she says. “The setback from 30 years ago would be a comeback.”

Piscopo moved to Newton during high school, and is currently residing near Heartbreak Hill. The Boston Marathon has been a part of her family’s history; both her father and grandfather grew up in Newton and would watch the marathon as boys. Her grandfather, who passed before Piscopo was born, was a World War I Veteran during 1918.

On the centennial of her grandfather’s service overseas, Piscopo will run the Newton leg of the 2018 Boston Marathon Military Relay proudly wearing Guy Anthony Piscopo’s dog tags.

B.A.A. Moment

Laura Piscopo

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