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A simple Veteran's Day program in a very unaware high school....


Ashley*76

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On Monday my AP Biology teacher took my class to the Veteran's Day progam. The school does not require students to attend and the teachers must sign their classes up a few days in advance. The program is usually an hour long with less than a few hundred students in attendence, not including the AF JRTOC. At my former high school in AL Veteran's Day or the Friday before was a day that was celebrated with a two and half hour program with pictures of local veterans, long speeches given by elderly (and sometimes not....one year there was a man who was just barely into his late thirties), and attended by the whole school, to attend the one at my new school sounded more of an insult than anything else. Why couldn't my school be full of more patriotic people? Why didn't every teacher take their class to the program? Why hold it in the auditorium that could only hold 300 while the school was over 3,000 total? Why not use the gym, which has enough seating for all the students plus more? The gym has air, heat, and everything else that would make it ideal, yet the Veteran's Day program is held in a dark and dingy room. The high school band doesn't even play in the program. No choir. Just a dark, dingy room.

 

Yet despite all this, I heard a story from a man that caused me swallow a lump in my throat. A man who wasn't very old because he was a 'Nam vet. A man who became a minster after the war. A man who told us a funny story about a sergent from LA who made all the new guys find him a rock to float in his chickory coffee to make sure it was strong enough for him. But that story wasn't the one that affected me. It was when he shared a story about a red haired man he met while in training: a young fellow, lean and smiling and clean shaven. That man died, and when he saw a picture of him at the widow's home he saw a picture of a tired, bearded man with pain in his eyes. The red haired man had a daughter he never got to see be born. As the guy told us this, his voice wavered and he shook his head as he said that he could not get rid of the voices, of the screams, of the sights he saw. He collected himself and told us a few definitions of heroes and how the word was thrown around so easily in modern society. Of all the stories I've heard on Veteran's Day, of all the vets I've listened to, something about this man sharing the story of not himself, but of another man-one he called a hero- hit hard. When we were dismissed I wanted to go find him and thank him for coming, but there was no sign of him among the Honor Guard or other veterans in attendence.

 

I know this little tale is a common one in American high schools, but I felt like it needed to be shared. It was the shortest speech I've ever heard for such a program and it came from a man dressed as a minister and not a soldier, yet the story he shared of a man he barely knew has to be one of the greatest speeches I've heard. It was wonderful and I'm glad I was able to attend the program, even if it lacked the fanfare I have grown accustom to it having.

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I agree with you that every school should have a program for Veteran's Day. Sadly most do not.

 

For most Americans, Veteran's Day is another excuse for a three-day weekend and some sales at the mall.

 

You may not think so, but I think you are one of the lucky ones because you understand the significance of the day.

 

Thanks for sharing your story.

Collecting 3rd Armored Division items of all kinds from all eras, specializing in the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment.

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Ashley,

I'm surprised you were in class on Monday, but pleased that you attended the program!!

Over the years ahead, you will hear and see similar talks, and maybe one day you will have a conversation with a veteran, such as this man.

It will be an experience you will NEVER FORGET!! ;)

 

Bless you for caring.

**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY**

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/301020-robin-ray/

 

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Yes, thank you for caring.

 

It means you probably always will, and be among the too few.

HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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I gotta post a picture or two from the parade here in town. Myself and 9 students, wearing WWI-modern, including one that completed basic the Summer before his 12th grade year and wore his own uniform. The middle school usually has a program, but may not have this year because the 8th grade trip to DC took place at the same time and takes a lot of effort and attention among the administration and anybody else that can help.

Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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Ashley*76

 

I am greatfull that you took the time out of your day to attend this program. I attend college in Minnesota and you cannot believe how many times I overheard other students on campus talking about how they "have a free sunday to party and drink since theres no school". I asked one girl why she was going to party and her answer was "duh, we dont have school on monday because its like a holiday or something" I was so shocked that she didn't even know the reason why she had the day off, even though the college sent an email out about the day off! I commend you for being the few that care. Alot of people say servicemembers are the few to be proud, but as both a collector (first) and a veteran second I honestly belive that you are part of the real one percent, the one percent that actually care. I commend you for you appreciation of history and hope you never lose that passion, even if it isnt military history - history is history!

 

Good luck in your collecting,

Drew

"Remember Bataan, Never Forget"

Actively looking for U.S. Army Run/Swim/Walk For Your Life patches.

 

Treasurer, ASMIC

Area V VP, ASMIC

www.asmic.org


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Here's my contribution from our school as pictured in the newspaper. Unfortunately, it doesn't show the student in his own uniform, or anyone past the WWII sailor (liberty cuffs on display for the occasion!) The WAC is wearing a coworker's grandmother's outfit, but it lacks the skirt so khaki pants are the best we can do.

post-9670-0-25820400-1353438086.jpg

Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


donation2011.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2019.gif

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