The Voice of the Veterans

Written by Autumn Johnson |

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Following the Veterans Day Assembly, the veterans were invited to a luncheon hosted by the culinary class taught by Consumer Science teacher Joanne Nunan.

Former Veteran Charlie Mackenzie shared a story from his last tour in Iraq. He served in the Navy and part of his job was to go outside of the secured areas. He was instructed to work with schools to determine if it was safe for the students to attend.

Mr. Mackenzie stated that “their school room was no bigger than maybe a 20×20 room, no running water, no bathrooms, no electricity, not even a chalkboard.” He explained that the education system was poor, but they cherished the education they were offered.

The military was able to help these schools by painting the walls so they could write on them, and by donating refrigerators and generators too. Mr. Mackenzie also expressed his gratitude. He said, “this is such a beautiful school, and when I look at this in comparison to where I was and what I saw, the real distinction is that we live in a great country.”

Veterans Robert Langston and Sergeant Gardner Lewis discussed the sadness of being away from their families for long periods of time. Sergeant Lewis stated that “you give up quite a bit of your life to serve in the military. You’re not always close enough to family to see them… That is the horrors of war, the part that many people don’t think about. It’s the loneliness we soldiers feel.”

Mr. Langston informed everyone that “there is a 50th Commemoration (law passed by Congress in 2012) to honor Vietnam veterans…. veterans who served in that era and also their families for their sacrifices and all the people who served and worked in the other military installations and support of the war. It is to honor the men who came back and didn’t get the recognition they deserved when they came home.”

Hearing their struggles, trials, and tribulations made those in attendance realize how eternally grateful everyone should be for our veterans.

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