WAPAKONETA — Wapakoneta Middle School students Monday commemorated Veterans Day by listening to retired Col. Jeffery Goodes speak about the importance of military service.
He spoke during a Veterans Day ceremony at the middle school where students and their family members who served as veterans were in attendance. Wapakoneta Veterans of Foreign Wars Color Guard members posted the colors.
Goodes, a native of Wapakoneta, retired from the United States Marine Corps on March 31, 2018. He had served as a platoon commander, a detachment operation’s officer as well as an officer in charge, a company commander, a detachment commander, a battalion executive officer and a squadron commanding officer.
Goodes thanked his fellow veterans for their service.
“Everything good in this world — diplomatically, militarily, economically and socially — is a result of your combined efforts and contributions to the world stage,” Goodes said.
He added that veterans have served a greater good, experienced true adversity and willingly sacrificed their personal comforts and liberties for the health and needs of the nation.
“Nov. 11 is not a day to honor American war veterans, but rather a day to honor all American veterans and their families, regardless of war,” Goodes said.
He recognized military spouses and their children who support their airmen, sailors, soldiers and Marines.
“They like so many military dependents learned how to share their daily experiences in weekly 15-minute telephone calls or an email to a deployed parent,” Goodes said.
His experience in the military has allowed his children to learn about the costs men and women from all walks of life face while serving in the military.
Goodes challenged students to spend time with a veteran and hear their stories and to say the Pledge of Allegiance with reverence.
Students passed out thank you cards to veterans that they had made and carried military flags representing the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marine Corps. Those who served in each branch stood when the song representing their branch of the military played.
The school also presented a check to the Dayton VA Medical Center that will be used to provide holiday dinners for Alzheimer’s patients.
Students performed a Veterans Day skit, the band played patriotic music and the 6th and 7th-grade choirs sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Unsung Heroes” and “Never Far From Home.”