GF schools thank veterans

Friday, November 15, 2019
Kansas Army National Guard and Green Forest High School teacher John Kemp, a member of the Kansas Army National Guard, salutes as the National Anthem is performed during the Veterans Day ceremony.
David Bell / Carroll County News

By Haley Schichtl

The Green Forest High School held an assembly on Veterans Day to honor those who have served.

The assembly began with the presentation of the colors by students Kate Manuel, Kimberly Lozano and Brisa Fernandezdelara, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem played by the high school band.

Leah Evans said a prayer and student council historian Nicolle Salinas and Lucy Rios introduced the veterans who attended the assembly.

After each veteran was recognized, student council president Brisa Fernandezdelara thanked them.

“There are over 2.1 million active duty and reserve men and women in the U.S. military today, with over 150 thousand deployed around the world in 150 countries,” Fernandezdelara said. “Veterans Day celebrates the over 19 million living Americans who have served their country.”

The Alpha Choir performed “We Stand United” and the High School Concert Choir sang “America, I Give My Thanks to You.” The band also performed “Times Remembered” and then the “Armed Forces Salute” as the veterans stood during the song of their branch to be recognized.

Fernandezdelara then introduced the guest speaker, retired Army sergeant Vincent Eastwood.

“When he turned 17, he joined the Arkansas National Guard. In 1991, he was deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm…and was medically retired in 1997,” Fernandezdelara said. “One of Sgt. Eastwood’s proudest achievements is his role as a founding member of Ozark Mountain Veterans Association.”

The association is a nonprofit that helps veterans in Northwest Arkansas, mostly in Carroll County.

“Carroll County has the highest per capita of veterans in the state of Arkansas,” Eastwood said. “Ten percent of this county are veterans — around 2,500.”

Eastwood said there is some land in Green Forest that the Veterans Association is looking to buy and build their headquarters on.

“No matter what branch of military you served in, what war you served in, once you come back …you’re a relative,” Eastwood said. “As veterans that served together, even in different wars, different parts of the wars, we’re all brothers and sisters once we get home.”

After Eastwood spoke, Jessica Morin told the story of “Taps,” and Angel Lemus and Jeremiah Day performed it.

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