Veterans reflect on time served

Veterans Day will be celebrated here with a Moto Run


Chelsea Hughes and John Stark

On November 11 we celebrate our veterans, but it doesn’t even end there.


The day is set aside to honor those who are currently serving, did serve, or the ones who did give their life for our freedom. For people in the U.S., Veterans Day is a time to hoist the American flag to show gratitude to the war veterans who were willing to sacrifice their lives for the well-being of the nation.


At Ben Davis, our ROTC program will be celebrating with a Moto Run during periods 1, 2, 5/6, 9, 10, and 11. Any staff veteran is welcome to join the run around the school grounds starting at the band practice field. The groups will run in cadence at a jogging pace and anyone who joins in is encouraged to wear motivational gear.


There are many ways to celebrate Veterans Day both publicly and privately, with the focus being on displaying gratitude for the war veterans who were willing to sacrifice their lives for the well-being of the nation. In some cities, parades are organized and ceremonies are held at war memorial sites to honor the brave men and women who have served our country. 


As President Woodrow Wilson put it, “The reflections of [Veterans] Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.  What about getting a dive into how people that served or still serving take this holiday? 


BD parent John Stark said, “I served in the US Air National Guard for 27 years. In that time I deployed 9 times to 8 different locations, a majority of which I deployed as a firefighter.


“While deployed we encountered a multitude of situations, the hardest was being deployed in a combat zone not knowing if we’d make it home. Being firefighters/first responders we were responsible for assisting medical with the arrival of injured soldiers, and whether we knew them or not, it was the hardest knowing they didn’t make it and you could do nothing to help.

“People change when they’ve seen what many of us have seen and lived through and It stays with you and it’s something you can never forget. Everyone deals with it in their own way, it’s how that person deals with what they’ve seen that affects the rest of their lives. I’ve missed holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations but I wouldn’t change a thing and would do it all again.


“People today have forgotten the sacrifices so many men and women have made to allow them to live the lifestyle they choose and it’s heartbreaking to see the amount that feels their only solution to what they’ve experienced is to end their life because they feel they’ve been pushed aside by the government that they served. Veteran’s day to me is honoring and lifting those who’ve served and making sure they know they are not alone and someone will always be there when they need them. To me, that holds more meaning than any parade or recognition ceremony ever could.” 


Jake Blair explains “I felt honored to serve our country for 20 years. I was able to serve my country in many different elements during that time. When overseas serving, we were able to help others while in the country and meet and create lifelong friendships with people. It was hard being away from my kids and wife when deployed, but knowing I was overseas to help defeat an enemy and possibly help save American lives made it worth every second. During Veterans Day it is usually hit or miss if I am working or not. I always make a point on that day to remember the people I served with and reach out to check on as many as I can. I hope this was helpful. If you need anything else I will gladly help you out.“

Glen Stark states,” I joined the Army in March of 1973. I completed basic training at Fort Knox in Kentucky. After completing basic training I was stationed in Fort Monmouth, located in New Jersey. I took a computer repair class and was there for 12 months. I was then transferred to Karlsruhe, Germany where I was stationed for 18 months. I was in a transport unit which meant our equipment was in trailers that we would use when we went to the field. While there we were put on alert because of situations going on in Poland. I returned home in March of 1973 and received an honorable discharge. I enjoy my time in the military and still get choked up when I hear the National Anthem play. We honor Veterans Day by praying for those soldiers lost and those still serving. It was an honor serving my country and being in the military.”


Msgt  Eakathat Khanthasa of our ROTC program explains, “My take on Veterans Day is a little bit different each year as I become more detached having been retired from active duty last year. As an active duty member, I never felt like Veterans Day was for me since I was still serving, but I always showed my respect and honor to veterans that came before me, and the ones that served honorably because I knew that time would come for me to join their ranks. Now as a retiree and a veteran it feels different, and I am proud to be part of the veteran’s community because I know what has been sacrificed, and some veterans deal with things better than others. Therefore, every little positivity can help lift a veteran because you never know what they are dealing with.”