Three high school teachers recognized in annual Veterans Day assembly

Rich Strike
Army National Guard

Math teacher Richard Strike is currently in his 34th year with the Iowa Army (National Guard). He has been a helicopter mechanic, helicopter pilot, Tac Ops officer, Warrent Officer Candidates School Instructor and is now the commander of the Warrant Officer Candidate School.

On Veterans’ Day, Strike said he feels, “A sense of pride mostly for my family that has served before me and especially for my immediate make for me to serve. [It’s] a reminder of what it took (and currently takes) for them to be able to do what they do.”

Kevin Stewart
Marine Corp

Social studies teacher Kevin Stewart served with the marine corp for four years between 1983 and 1987. He did his basic training in San Diego and his infantry training in California. His NAS ( Naval Air Station) was a naval base in Maine, FMF ( Fleet Marine Force). He went to Okinawa where his battalion was, and he spent three and a half months in the Philippine Islands. With the NAS, Stewart was with special security forces in the North Atlantic and supported the capabilities of a P3 Orion Air Search Destroyer, When he was in the Philippines, he tracked and in a sense hunted a group known as the MPA (Muslim People’s Army) who were trying to overthrow the government of the Philipines. He would track for the Filipino military.

For Stewart, Veterans Day is “A day to celebrate what is and all that is done by veterans and what the families of those soldiers have to go through, to also remember those how have lose their lives or were missing in battle and weren’t able to come home and celebrate what veterans do for us. Veterans past, present and future are the people who are the small percentage that are willing to go out and look out for us and protect us. It is also good for civilians to recongnize that and respect that. 

After the school assembly, Stewart said, “I hope [students and staff] have learned now not only respect for what the flag has to say and that they walk away with a better understanding of what a veteran is, what a veteran maybe goes through and that they can then obviously better respect them in public as well as in what they do for them.

Caleb Wallace
Army Reserves

Special needs teacher Caleb Wallace served in the United States Army Reserves B Co 389th Engineer Battalion from 1997-2006. He drilled in Decorah and served Iraq/Kuwait as part of OIF/OEF in 2003-2004.  Some other places that he trained in were El Salvador, Guatemala, Germany, Qatar and a number of bases in the United States. His job title was  62J, a small/heavy equipment operator. When he deployed, he worked on base camp construction/improvements, and during summer camps he worked on U.S. base construction projects.  

 “It is important to remember the sacrifices that veterans have made and continue to make to protect and keep Americans safe.  On Veteran’s Day I thank other veterans for their service.  I hope students are able to take from the assembly that many people have sacrificed in order for them to enjoy the freedoms that they have today.

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