Veterans Day Assembly honors veterans and future service members

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Veterans Day Assembly honors veterans and future service members

Orchestra faces the boy scouts as they bring in the flags.

Orchestra faces the boy scouts as they bring in the flags.

Noelle Pryor

Orchestra faces the boy scouts as they bring in the flags.

Noelle Pryor

Noelle Pryor

Orchestra faces the boy scouts as they bring in the flags.

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Metea Valley hosted its annual Veterans Day Assembly on Friday. The assembly was attended by the entire student body and staff. Key events were musical performances by Chamber Strings, Wind Ensemble, and Varsity Singers and veteran speakers.

Language Arts teacher and former marine Rob Tesmond spoke about his time in the Marine Corps. “What I accomplished was growing up. I was transformed from a 17-year-old boy to a 25-year-old man with a wife and two children,” Tesmond said. “I learned that is is possible to reject the easy path of judging others for their failures, and instead see them for who they can be.”

Sergeant Alan Reyes, Army veteran, member of Illinois National Guard, and husband of Dean Jennifer Reyes, spoke about his experiences. “I remember seeing [my uncle] board the plane in his Class A uniform and knew what I wanted to do.”

Students who enlisted in the United States Armed Forces were also recognized. The following students were recognized: Mayra Rebecca Solis, Navy; Erin Williams, Army; Brianna Wong, Army Reserves; Deysi Paniagua, Illinois National Guard; Brian Casarez, Illinois National Guard; Daniel Piest, Marines.

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  • Orchestra stands for the National Anthem during the assembly.

  • Students planning on pursing careers in the armed forces stand to be recognized.

  • A table is set up with an army helmet, a bible and candle in the center of the gym.

  • President of Youth and Government Katrin Gatz and Speech Team Captain Aryanna Amin preface the assembly by acknowledging the sacrifices of all those in combat.

  • Future and current army soldiers, including Deysi Paniagua, have small talk outside the Blackhawk helicopter.

  • A couple contributes to the round of applause as the assembly comes to a close.

  • As the helicopter descends, an army soldier looks out to the students watching in awe.

  • Metea students and Boyscouts stand with pride while saluting the American and Illinois flag.

  • Students stand and pay their respects to the American flag

  • Orchestra faces the boy scouts as they bring in the flags.

  • English Teacher and Girls Volleyball Coach Robert Tesmond speaks about his experience as a war veteran.

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In addition to the assembly, Metea celebrated Veterans Day by hosting a UH-60L Blackhawk helicopter.  It is used by the military in air assault, air cavalry, airlift, and aeromedical evacuation. The Blackhawk was open for classes to explore throughout the day.