Valley High School Honors Veterans
Valley High School’s students and staff gathered for a Veterans Day Celebration to honor those who have, and are still willing, to give the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
After an introduction by Student Council President Rebeckah Barnette, the National Anthem was sung by student Marah Dudgeon and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Student Evan Harter then gave a history of Veterans Day. Harter noted how individuals his age can probably name a quarterback for an NFL team, or a famous singer, but would struggle to recall who Alvin York was. Harter stated that York was a famous WWI soldier who captured 132 German soldiers. Harter stressed the importance of honoring those who had died to preserve America’s freedoms.
Also at Monday’s ceremony, Army Sergeant First Class Thomas Sweatt from the Veterans Bluegrass Association spoke of his organization’s latest endeavor. Sweatt stated that the Veterans Bluegrass Association is currently setting up interviews with area veterans. “It’s our way of making sure history is recorded,” Sweatt said.
Army Sergeant First Class Ray Vasofski spoke to students about the many places he has been during his Army career. Vasofski has served three different tours in Iraq and is now a teacher. He said he has “no regrets,” of his time with the Army.
Army Sergeant First Class Patricia Kishman has served in the military for 37 years. She said her father was a World War II veterans and her brothers have also served in the military. Kishman stated that her time in the Army has been “a wild ride.”
“Things have changed and continue to change,” she said, adding that she plans on doing one more tour of duty.
Kishman said she encourages everyone to try one tour.
“It’s something you’ll never forget,” she noted.
Army Staff Sergeant Samuel Cantrell said he joined the Army in 1996. He said he didn’t believe he would spend more than six years in the service but added that “It’s a great organization to be in.”
VHS students were given the opportunity to ask the service men and women about their careers. One student asked if the individuals have ever been scared during their service. Sweatt said he had not been scared, knowing that he, and those around him, had the proper training.
Kishman said there were times she had been scared, but added that she had “said prayers and thanked God for my family.”
Vasofski said he always looked at his journeys as adventures.
“I loved doing my job. It’s a great job,” he added.