I attended the Friday night football game at a neighborhood high school. It was a beautiful evening to be outdoors.
It was Military Appreciation Night there and the school had a ceremony planned for half-time.
I had already read a bit about it in the local news but wanted to be there. I wanted to see if I could learn something new.
The guests for the ceremony represented every branch of the military from every conflict back to WW2 – men and women.
The local community is trying to raise funds to build a veterans memorial park and the park was designed by a cadet from GN’s school. I support all of that!
The special guest was the survivor os the USS Ward, the destroyer that sunk a Japanese sub while it patrolled the entrance to Pearl Harbor in the early hours of December 7, 1941.
No one believed them. I knew that, but I wondered why not. That question was answered during the ceremony.
The honored guest was only 16 when he signed up for the navy reservists. He said he did it because he just wanted the white sailor cap. He was a sophomore in high school at the time. The next year, he was called up and ended up on the Ward.
I put him at about 88 or 89, depending on his actual birth date, but the gentleman sat on the top row of the bleachers for the game, then walked down and onto the filed under his own power. Good on you, soldier!
Their story about sinking the sub was not believed because they were young, inexperienced, and reservists.
The choir and band performed a medley of the service songs and the crowd was excited and respectful at the same time. EVERYONE in bleachers on both sides of the filed stood for the entire program.
The honored guest snapped to attention when he hear the Navy song. He had been presented with a football helmet from the host team.
Thank you for your service . . . everyone