Veterans Day


Alyssa Wilmarth

Across the country 18.2 million people are given special recognition one day throughout the year. This Veterans Day, East high wanted to give special recognition to the staff that have dedicated their lives to making our country better. From the armed forces to the classroom, these brave men and women of East have truly impacted the lives of every student they have met.  Mrs. Linda Shields is just one of the many veterans that work here at East.  

“I grew up in Ohio, and after 2 years of college, I ran out of money for school, and I joined the Air force in 1979. I went in mainly for the monetary help with school. My dad had been in the navy during the Korean War, my brother was an officer in the Coast Guard, and I wanted to try something different, so I chose the Air Force,” said Shields. Many students today can relate to this same reason. Our families are military, and school is expensive, so this reasoning is still relevant to our generation 

“I went to basic training in San Antonio, TX. My first assignment was in Communications at the Strategic Air Command Underground. After 4 years I cross trained to be a Corpsman, with a school in Texas. After school, I worked at Erhling Berquist Hospital in the medical/pediatric wards at Offutt air force base,” said Shields. While it doesn’t sound like what action movies portray, this reality is very common and very important. Without these types of experiences, many of our nation’s vets wouldn’t be the way they are today. We often take for granted the work our service men and women do outside of crossfire. This is something we need to rectify as a community, and what we here at East are working to fix. 

While it might not seem like it sometimes, there is still good that comes from being in service to our nation. “One of my favorite things about the military was being able to meet and work with so many different types of people” said Shields. “I learned to appreciate the differences in other’s cultures and different walks of life more than ever” Shields continued. The military has reportedly shown its members the beauty of our world through a unique and truly influential way.  

Though if you ask an actual veteran, they don’t think of the military and have bad thoughts about it, at least not Mrs. Shields. “Overall, my experience in the military was a positive one, I learned to appreciate serving the country in the ways of positions and jobs that I held during service. I was given my discharge papers after the first Gulf War, in 1991. My only regret was not staying in for the full 20 years “said Shields.  

Serving in our nation’s military has shaped the lives of over 18.2 million people across our country. Mrs. Shields and all the veterans at East, thank you for service and the students at East recognize the sacrifices you’ve made to protect this country, and consequently the new generation. Thank you!