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KHS veterans honor Veterans Day

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IMAGE / Emilie Lewis
Assistant Principal Matt Moore served in the Army and the Michigan National Guard.

Veterans Day, which is Saturday, Nov. 11, is a national holiday meant to remember and honor veterans of all wars. These veterans are all around you. They are the strangers you pass in the grocery stores, book stores, and they are even familiar faces in your school.

Kearsley High School currently has three staff members who are veterans and one who is deployed overseas.

These veterans include Mr. Matt Moore, assistant principal; Ms. Mary Riley, math teacher; and Mrs. Sheryl Keaton, cook.

Mr. John Hall, English teacher, is currently serving as a public affairs officer for the Army in the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Italy. Hall is a lieutenant colonel in the Michigan National Guard.

Moore served in the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard for 17 years. 

He thanks the Army and National Guard for making him “become organized, focused, and goal driven.”

Moore believes that the military positively impacts a person’s life.

“(It can) give them a purpose and direction in life, assist with college payments, and (help them) learn a job skill that is applicable to the real world,” Moore said.

Veterans Day is important to Moore.

“(It is) a day to honor and remember the men and women that have served their country, fought in combat, were injured, or gave they lives to protect American ideals and beliefs,” Moore said.

IMAGE / Emilie Lewis
Ms. Mary Riley, math teacher, traveled around the world because of the Air Force.

A faculty member who served is Riley.

Riley served in the U.S. Air Force for 13 years. She initially joined the Air Force because she needed the scholarship money she got from the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, but she grew to love the Air Force.

She believes that her service has shaped the person she is now.

“I can link many of my ways of thinking and acting to what I learned and experienced while in training (ROTC in college) and on active duty through all of my assignments,” Riley said. 

She believes military service is not made for everyone, but many people can benefit from joining the military.

“For those who join,” Riley said, “the benefits are wide ranging: discipline, integrity, work ethic, responsibility,

leadership skills, and pride of service to others, are just a few that I can think of off the top of my head.”

Riley thanks all veterans for the sacrifices they have made for their country.

“Personally, I take the time to thank those that served before me, whether by choice or by draft, and those that have served, and are still serving, after me,” Riley said.  

Veterans Day brings back memories and the sense of pride from when she served.

“It makes me think of all the amazing men and women I had the great privilege of serving with and the great memories I have of all my assignments and deployments,” Riley said.  “I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I had as a result of my time in the Air Force.”

Riley tries to teach her students about life through her experiences.

“I also try, in some way each year, to bring my experiences into my classroom so that students can see what amazing opportunities are out there in the world if you only dare to dream and work hard for your dreams,” Riley said.

IMAGE / Emilie Lewis
Mrs. Sheryl Keaton helped to repair computers and install software and networks in the Air Force in her 22 years of service.

Another employee at KHS also served in the Air Force.

Keaton made a career out of the Air Force, spending 22 years in service to the country and retiring in 2002.

In the Air Force, Keaton was an electronic technician and computer operator. Her job included computer repair and installing software and networks.

Parts of both being in and leaving the Air Force was difficult for Keaton.

“The hardest thing about the military was spending holidays away from family and home,” Keaton said. “It was also leaving the Air Force when I retired. It was difficult to leave the military community and way of life.”

Keaton believes that there are many financial benefits to joining the military.

“A person can learn a job or trade while being paid,” Keaton said. “You also earn money towards furthering your education. You also can set up an account to put money towards a retirement account.”

Veterans Day is important to Keaton because it honors the sacrifices veterans have made.

“To me, Veterans Day represents a day set aside to honor all veterans who have dedicated their lives to defend our freedoms, rights, and country,” Keaton said. “I feel that it is important because not many people realize the sacrifices that veterans make to ensure that the freedoms they value are defended.”

She believes that a veteran never stops serving.

“Even when they go home at the end of the day, they are still a military member ready to put their lives on the line if necessary.”

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The student news site of Kearsley High School in Flint, Michigan
KHS veterans honor Veterans Day