RCMS appreciates veterans


Jihoo Kim

Sigi Almon, Navy force, and Sam Woodhead, an Army enjoyed the Veterans Day on Nov. 12.

Jihoo Kim, Writer

“The smoke covered the sky and our plane caught on fire,” Commander David Brown, a Navy serviceman told students in November at RCMS’s Veterans Day event.

Brown graduated from the U.S. Naval academy, and served  for 22 years. He was one of the veterans who visited RCMS. On Nov. 12, Rachel Carson Middle School had the Veterans Day event for the third year. Both students and teachers learn more about the life of a veteran, how being a veteran is not always easy and even if they didn’t go to a war, how important it is to honor them because each veteran had served our country.

Sixty veterans came to the school to share their stories. Each veteran visited four rooms; two rooms in seventh grade and two in eighth grade.

“Teachers who didn’t have a Panther Time class partnered up with the veterans and had guided them to the classrooms,” said Mrs. Murphy, an organizer at the Veterans Day event, and a history teacher in Majestic team.

Eleanor Donlen, the civics teacher in the Voyager’s team, was in charge of this event. William Darr, a co-leader, a history teacher in Champions team, and six other teachers, helped set up the event.

Being a solder doesn’t always mean hardships and stress. Chief Warrant Officer Steve Shannon, a veteran in the Army, and grandfather of a student in Majestic team named Kamryn Shannon, served one year in South Korea, six years in Belgium, and three years in Germany.

In his military service, he learned the cultures of different countries and had an adventure, but learning a different culture was difficult. In Germany, people were not allowed to look into the eye of a woman.

When Chief Shannon served the Army, the Vietnam War was occurring. He was supposed to go to Vietnam like his friends did, but instead a recent change was made and he was stationed in Belgium.

Even though veterans could have adventure and fun in service, they would miss their families or be afraid to die.

“I think the toughest thing about the joining the military  was leaving my mom who supported me for most of my life,” said Chief Shannon.

“I was 18 when I was drafted to the Navy,” said Commander Bennet Gold, a soldier in Navy, who served in the military for 21 years. Commander Gold was also a veteran in the Vietnam War, and he was battles on the sea. The closest U.S. territory from Vietnam was Guam. Soldiers would go to the island to get supplies and to get rest.

Commander Gold had one of the toughest training there was. He was told to do firefighting. They would make the soldiers go up to an actual burning tower and put the fire out. A similar training to this was done by Commander Brown. He had to take out the fire too.  Another training he had was to jump out of the plane and dive into the water safely.

After his training at the Naval Academy, he took  flight lessons and later, he learned how to fly different type of airplanes and helicopters.

“Though, military flights can be very dangerous,” said Commander Brown. “When my partner and I were flying on Virginia Beach, the engine of the plane started to burn and the plane was on fire, so I had to drive the plane toward ocean and there, I ejected myself.”

Commander Brown was very close to the school when the plane had crashed onto the surface. After all, most of the veterans in the school did heroic things. The school gave the veterans a special treat by serving them lunch. After visiting classrooms, all the veterans that came to our school had been in the cafeteria having lunch and talking to some other people in the military.

“I actually loved it,” said Mrs. Donlen. “ I was having a great time and I also was so glad that the veterans enjoyed it too.”

“I love it,” said Mrs. Murphy. “The reflection that I made my students write touched my nerves, because of how they loved it. I do want to do this again.”