Veterans Day at Moody High School

Moody+veterans+honored+with+a+breakfast

Gabriella Recio

Moody veterans honored with a breakfast

 

Veterans Day, celebrated on November 11th, is a day to remember individuals who have served in the military.  On this day, we get to show our respect to these individuals and make sure they feel valued for the service they have done for us.

Moody NJROTC saluting during the flag ceremony (Gabriella Recio)

Naturally, this starts at home. On this day we honor Janell TasbyJason James, Sean Wilson, Shawn Kleven, Stephen Gallardo, Sharlene Walker, Yalanda Salone, sergeant Kosta Maravelias, Robert Howard, Kevin Jones, and Brandon Wood. Moody High School NJROTC, Student Council, and administrators celebrated these amazing men and women with a flag ceremony and special breakfast. 

According to History.com, the national holiday started off by being celebrated as Armistice Day. It marked the end of World War l on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month.  Eventually, in 1954, they renamed it what it is now known as “Veterans Day” to honor people who served in all wars and branches. 

 

Even though they do not wear their uniforms, we see them in multiple aspects of everyday life. Some of them even walk the hallways of Moody High School. 

 

Photo provided by Sean Wilson

The first thing that comes to mind when we think of veterans is the NJROTC teachers. Sean Wilson, who started teaching at Moody last year, was on active duty from 1989 to 1993 and then again from 1997 to 2013. “There were some times I did not particularly enjoy, or that I would/ wish I could have done differently, but overall it was a very fulfilling experience. One of which I am very proud to say that I accomplished,” said Wilson. I believe it is safe to say he loved the experiences and memories he gained, and he wants to set up his students to get the same opportunities. One thing we never think about is adapting back from being in active duty to real life. Wilson also stated adapting from active duty was difficult. “You have a certain level of expectation for the people around you. You feel like they should all work together to accomplish [the] goal.”

 

A lot of the time, there are many positive aspects to being away from home: new friendships, educational opportunities, travel, and expert skills.“The friendships that I made there, Meeting people from different parts of the country and different parts of the world,” said Engineering teacher Jason James.  We know that being in the military calls for traveling, but have you ever actually thought about where they’ve traveled? “I’ve been to Japan and Korea, stuff like that,” said Technology teacher Gallardo. It’s crazy how far people in service have gone. Some adults have never traveled outside of the state, let alone the whole continent.  “ Germany, Canada, Spain, France, England, and just about every state in the United States,” said  EMT teacher Jenell Tasby when asked about her military travels. 

 

Along with these far travels came memories that remain for a long time. Whether it was making new friendships with co-workers or meeting new people in the surrounding areas, their time in the military is one that they never forget.   “One of my best memories was after a hurricane hit Guam (not that part), the command went out into the community and passed out ice and water, cleared branches, and helped families clean up their property. We then had this big cookout, [and] we were invited into people’s homes and treated like family. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since,” said History teacher Sharlene Walker. Those new people that they met couldn’t compare to the family back home, but they sure did give you a little taste of family. Walker added, “I’m not going to say it’s a brotherhood, because, you know, women. The comradery never goes away.” On the other hand, there are some factors that are tough. One is being away from family. “One of the most challenging things was not being able to see my family as often as I could,” said James. Having a well-rounded bundle of memories is what makes that experience so special and different from others. 

Photo provided by Yalanda Salone

 

“No matter the amount of time or branch you served in, that connection doesn’t change,” said Walker.  Through the good parts and bad parts, I think it’s safe to say that these veterans enjoyed the time they spent there. It gave them A lot of things they didn’t have before whether it be characteristics or skills they learned. They got to see the world through a third eye, and now they get to see the progress being made from their time spent in active duty till now.  “It’s taken a while, but it’s more even now. Women are more respected in the service and in the contributions that we’ve made over the years. Were vital now and recognized in the service. We’ve contributed greatly especially in the medical field,” said Tasby.