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Bishop Hogan Students Honor Veterans
November 13, 2015

C-T Photo / Brittany Tutt

CAPTION: Bishop Hogan Memorial School hosted their annual Veterans Appreciation Program Thursday morning. Students sang patriotic songs and made presentations. Above, students display a thank you for the veterans as they sing "Thank You Soldiers." During the song, a picture slideshow was played which featured photos of veterans that were/are friends and family of students and staff.

The Bishop Hogan Memorial School hosted its 18th annual Veteran's Appreciation Program Thursday morning in the gymnasium. Local veterans packed the gym to listen to the students sing patriotic songs. After welcoming everyone to the event, posting the Colors, saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and Bishop Hogan Principal Pam Brobst saying the opening prayer, guest speaker Staff Sgt. Gary Holley began his speech.

Holley began his military service as a junior in high school for the army reserves. He graduated from Braymer High School and Grand River Technical School. Holley attended basic combat training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and advanced individual training in Aberdeen, Md. He has served in a few different units over his career, first assignment was 912th medical company while in Army Reserves. While in Army Reserves, he worked a few jobs as a mechanic until he was old enough to join the law enforcement academy. He served in law enforcement for almost three years before he decided to submit an AGR packet and was a motor sergeant for his Army Reserve unit. After submitting an AGR packet within months, he had orders for recruiting school and orders for Kansas recruiting BN. He was assigned to Chillicothe recruiting station. Holley was assigned to Kansas recruiting BN for four years and then received orders for Columbus recruiting BN where he served one year. He is now assigned to Chillicothe recruiting station as the Center Commander. Holley received Honor Graduate in basic combat training and advanced individual training. He attended PLDC at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2006 and received the iron man PT award. He is currently enrolled in college at Grand Canyon University where he is finishing his bachelor's degree in public safety and emergency management. Holley's awards and decorations are gold recruiting badge, expert marksmanship badge, driver and mechanics badge, Army Achievement Medal twice, the Good Conduct Medal twice, the National Defense Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with number two device, the Army Reserves component achievement medal, the army service medal, the volunteer service medal, and the global war on tourism medal. Holley talked about the history and meaning of Veterans Day during his speech.

After Holley's speech, third through eighth grade students made a presentation using props. Students presented a table and said, "The table is small, symbolizing the frailty of the soldiers alone against their oppressors. Remember." Students then put a white tablecloth over the table and said, "The tablecloth is white, symbolizing the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms. Remember." Students then placed a black napkin on the table and said, "The black napkin reminds us if the sorrow of captivity." They then placed a rose on the table and said, "The single rose displayed in a vase tied with a red ribbon is symbolic of the families and loved ones who keep the faith waiting for their return." They then placed a slice of lemon on the table and said, "The slice of lemon is on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate. Remember." Then, they placed salt on the table and said, "The grains of salt on the bread plate are symbolic of the families' tears as they wait. Remember." They then placed an inverted glass on the table and said, "The glass is inverted, they cannot toast with us. Remember." They then put a chair at the table, "The chair is empty. They are not here. Remember." They then placed a candle on the table and said, "The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, to the open arms of a grateful nation. Remember." "Remember all of you served with them and called them comrades, who depended upon their might and aid and relied upon them, for surely they have not forgotten you. Remember," students concluded.

Third through eighth grade then sang Thank You Soldiers for the veterans while a picture slideshow was played. The photos on the slideshow were of veterans that are/were friends and family of Bishop Hogan students and/or staff. According to Brobst, there were 108 photos on the slideshow. Third through eighth grade then sang Armed Forces Salute, which is song that includes the songs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. The veterans of each military group stood when their song was played. The Eagle Wings Choir sang God Bless the USA, third through eighth grade sang Everyday Heroes, kindergarten through second grade sang Yankee Doodle and See The Veteran. After the program came to a close, veterans were invited to a free meal at the school.

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