Students learn how much veterans have contributed
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Veterans and their service were at the forefront in a pair of Veterans Day programs Tuesday coordinated by the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter at Chase County Schools.
Two separate programs were held, one in the morning for high school students and another just after lunch for the elementary grades.
Speaker at the morning program was David Oxford Sr., of Enders, a veteran of the Vietnam War.
Oxford, who grew up in Custer County, was drafted in May 1968 and served in the Army Infantry. He arrived in Vietnam in October of that year, serving there 11 months until the U.S. withdrawal began. He finished out his service at Ft. Carson, Colo.
Noting no two wars are the same, Oxford recalled that there was no real “front line” in Vietnam. His compound was
“in the middle of nowhere,” he said, where a soldier could be shot at anytime.
It was wet all the time there, he said, and soldiers often woke up in water after a night’s sleep.
“It rained every day. We lived in water,” he said.
Effects of the war remain for Oxford. Four years ago, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease as a result of his exposure to Agent Orange during his time in Vietnam.
He thanked the FBLA chapter and sponsor Sandy O’Neil for organizing the Veterans Day program each year.
At both programs, FBLA members Ryan Moline and Jake Lueth presented a U.S. flag skit, providing historical information on both the U.S. and Nebraska flags.
A flag-folding ceremony was given by VFW Post 4688 Post members P.J. Pajerski and Michal Swanson, as Sue Moore from the Ladies Auxiliary read what each of the 13 folds represents.
Music was provided by elementary and high school students. A video highlighting veterans and a moment of silence were observed. A quartet of Carlos Chavez, Noah Griffin, Jace Clevenger and Makayla DaMoude played “Silver Taps.”
VFW Post 4688 Color Guard advanced and retired the Colors.