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The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas

WINGSPAN

The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas

WINGSPAN

Redhawks recognize those who served on Veterans Day

This+Veterans+Day%2C+Redhawks+are+recognizing+those+who+served+on+campus+and+their+impact+on+their+families%2C+their+community%2C+and+their+country.
Provided by David Volkmar
This Veterans Day, Redhawks are recognizing those who served on campus and their impact on their families, their community, and their country.

Armistice Day; Memorial Day; Veterans Day. Though their names may be different, they mark the same meaningful day of remembrance. 

Originally named for the armistice signed on November 11, 1918 that ended the Great War, Veterans Day (then called Armistice Day), is a holiday that reaches across borders in shared celebration. But whether red poppies are worn or wreath-laying ceremonies are attended, each country comes together to celebrate their veterans in their own way. 

Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day is an opportunity to celebrate living veterans and honor the sacrifices that they made. 

 

Ryan Kiefer, School Counselor

Inspired by family members and a sense of duty, joining a branch of the military was the plan since childhood for counselor and Air Force veteran Ryan Kiefer.

Counselor Ryan Kiefer served in the Air Force, inspired by his father and other family members’ service. (Provided by Ryan Kiefer)

“So my dad was a Marine,” Kiefer said. “He served two years in Vietnam, and when he got out, he served in the Army and National Guard for a little bit. And, you know, I had family members who served in World War Two and I had an aunt that was in the navy… it was just something that I knew I wanted to happen.”

Though the unemployment rate was lower for veterans than non-veterans in 2022, after serving as a weather specialist for six years after high school, Kiefer was able to identify something he enjoyed in the past few years. 

“So you have basic training, and then you have tech school which trains individuals on how to do their jobs,” Kiefer said. “And I was the primary trainer for all those people coming into my unit, so I liked teaching: I liked organizing that kind of stuff, so it seemed like a natural fit—when I got out of the Air Force—to go into something training-related, which, obviously, education is.”

At the end of the day, however, while Kiefer appreciated the opportunity to experience other cultures, things, and people, the experience wasn’t one without sacrifice. 

“Veterans agree to put their life on the line and agree to uphold all the freedoms of life that we enjoy here in the United States,” Kiefer said. “So I think it’s quite a sacrifice that people do for the country and the other citizens, and I think it’s important to remember that sacrifice.”

 

Angela Lewis, School Counselor

As an Army BRAT for the first ten years of her life, counselor Angela Lewis has been able to see, firsthand, some of the challenges veterans face. But the veterans themselves aren’t the only ones who felt the consequences of their service. 

It’s very honorable and I feel it’s important to honor it,

— Counselor Angela Lewis

“It just feels like I was always in a different setting as I had to adapt and learn about new people all over again, and learn about new cultures, all over again,” Lewis said. “[But] I think that it helped because I never had a difficult time with change, later in life.”

In Lewis’ eyes, if the negative aspects of service can be condensed to the word ‘sacrifice,’ the reason for honoring the nation’s veterans is recognizing that sacrifice. 

“I’ve seen some of the injuries and I’ve seen [the impact of being] away all of the time and what it does to families—and it’s just sacrifice,” Lewis said. “And so, of course, it’s very honorable and I feel it’s important to honor it. It’s important to me, anyway, because I appreciate what [veterans have] done and continue to do.”

 

David Volkmar, Teacher

Veterans might be celebrated equally this Friday, but the journey to the decision to enlist differs, even among veterans on campus. For AP Seminar teacher David Volkmar, the impactful decision that made him a Marine Corps trumpet player and veteran didn’t come until his junior year of high school. 

English teacher David Volkmar served as a Marine Corps trumpet player, a decision that didn’t come until his junior year of high school.
(provided by David Volkmar)

“I went on to late entry while I was a junior in high school,” Volkmar said. “After I graduated, I went off to boot camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. And from there I was transferred to the Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia. And once I graduated from the School of Music, I was sent to my first unit, which was the third Marine Aircraft Wing Band at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California.” 

Despite his own difficulties, Volkmar found his experience to be mild in comparison to others.

“I read just the other day—and I really like the way that this was worded—that, you know, ‘there are those who gave up their tomorrows for our today’s,’” Volkmar said. “What we have was given to us because people sacrificed their lives to guarantee that we would have the opportunities that we have and the freedoms that we have, and [it’s] really unfortunate [that people disregard them] because, you know, what we have is fragile and we have to continually build up our community to defend it and maintain it.”

Nonetheless, when it comes to choosing a life of military service, the negative brings back the idea of sacrifice. 

“The series of sacrifices made are life-long,” Volkmar said. “I was 20 years old when I had to first fill out a will because I was deploying to the Middle East and honestly, I did not think I was coming home. Fortunately we did, relatively unscathed, but that certainly wasn’t a guarantee and that’s something that everybody who deploys as a member of the military faces at one point or another.”

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About the Contributor
Christina Huang, Staff Reporter/Interactive Media Editor
Christina Huang is a sophomore in her first year officially with Wingspan. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the piano and viola, and finding/creating wallpapers for her phone which she will likely never use. She’s looking forward to the opportunity to better her writing and find the good in scorned books this year through her book blog: Every Book Has a Silver Lining. Contact Christina: christina.huang.862@k12.friscoisd.org

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