Help needed for Veterans Day assembly

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By The Staff

I hate asking anyone for anything — especially donations. But we have an idea for this year’s Veterans Day Assembly at the high school, and Junior ROTC can’t go it alone — we just don’t have the money.  Please read this letter and let us know if you can help make a veteran’s experience even more rewarding this year.

Veterans are a humble bunch overall, and most just want a “thank you” to recognize their service. The Korean and Vietnam Era vets, however, did not receive that in large measure upon their return home — and some never got it afterward. The same could be said of our current Global War on Terrorism veterans. To me, formally recognizing our veterans with something significant — beyond just a verbal ‘thanks’ — is what we as a community should strive for.

I found commemorative “Honorable Service” medals that would be great to award the vets at this year’s assembly, and our Principal agrees.  Our cadets, as well as possibly teachers and/or students from the various clubs, would pin the medals on the vets.  To me, that would be a symbolic gesture to show that the young do care, and are involved, in honoring this special group of our nation’s servants.  The medals cost $30 each, but I can get them at discount for $20 each.  We average 60 veterans every year, so you can see the cost involved … at least $1,200.  And this year I anticipate more veterans attending, so we’d probably have to “cushion” an extra 20 medals or so, to avoid leaving anyone out. 

We’ve asked the high school clubs and sponsors to help us out, and we can count on small donations from the general fund, from student council, and possibly FFA, in addition to what JROTC will spend.  But none of these amounts are truly significant — we’re by no means rich. If we could get three or four additional ‘sources’ of funds, I think we could make this happen. We’re looking at a $1,600 purchase, with maybe $900 still needing to be raised by the end of September. If we can’t raise the entire amount by then, we’ll look at another, less-expensive option that still goes “a step above” in recognizing our veterans.

If you think you or your organization can contribute to our Veterans Day plans, please contact JROTC (Lt. Col. Fassio or Master Sergeant McClure) at 845-8670 (x7015) or e-mail me at mark.fassio@henry.kyschools.us. Thank you for any help you can provide!   And if you or any member of your family is a veteran, we’d love to have you attend the ceremony on the 11th of November and be recognized with your peers.

Mark A. Fassio, Lt. Col., USAF Retired; Senior Aerospace Science Instructor; Henry County HighSchool AFJROTC