Students of Sierra Lutheran High School took the opportunity to connect with veterans on a personal level Friday at the first Veterans Day assembly since the school’s inception.
The assembly wasn’t only a tribute to two dozen guests and 15 veterans in attendance, but the hour also was a classroom to educate students the importance of Veterans Day.
The school featured local public speaker Kara Miller — also a former captain of the U.S. Air Force and a veteran of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm — to share her story about her experience in the military and how it helped her grow when making life decisions.
Miller said she found her confidence during her time in the Air Force Academy, and talked about how she succeeded in teamwork while under pressure, to escape snipers during her service in Cairo.
“I thought, am I ever going to make it home? Will I ever see my family again? I didn’t know who to pray to,” she said.
Along with moments of silence and saluting veterans, students decorated halls as Walls of Honor, showcasing photos of family members whom served in the military.
After the assembly, students gathered at a table to write Thank You cards to sailors and Marines of the Carrier Air Wing 17 and Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group that embarked for deployment last month.
Students also saluted both active members and veterans, as a way to introduce one another. As Miller’s story stimulated curious minds, some students mingled around veterans to hear about their stories.
“My mom also served as a captain in the Air Force,” said SLHS student Hannah Potts. “I’m glad we got to celebrate our veterans together as a school and take the time out of our schedule to honor them.”
This deeply affected veterans as they weren’t expecting such a response from high school students. “When I came home, we were not celebrated,” said Michael Elterman, Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War. “When I came home, my friend thought I was going to kill him. But today is different.”