Laura Cook reads her Voice of Democracy Essay, which won first place.
Anna Herzig reads her Patriots Pen Essay, which won first place.
by Debby Stricker
Coast Guard Petty Officer Cameron Martin gave a message about military service and legacy at the Okawville School Veterans Day Assembly Thursday.
Officer Martin said he quit a well-paying position with Amazon in Seattle to join, following his father, who served for 35 years. “I was missing the sense of fulfillment until I joined the Coast Guard,” he said.
Officer Martin, who is stationed in St. Louis, supports the Coast Guard’s five main mission areas. They include maritime security and safety, protection of natural resources, maritime mobility and national defense with the regions of the Upper Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri Rivers and their navigable tributaries.
In search and rescue operations, Marten has been a part of a crew that has saved 22 lives at sea. His first save was a couple and a child on a boat who had been lost off the coast of Mexico for two weeks, and without food for four days.
The band played and chorus sang patriotic songs, led by Directors Reed Recker and Michael Zahour.
Student Rylan Nelson, who plans to join the air Force, gave the welcome.
Teacher Kevin Kenow, an Air Force veteran, emceed the event.
Okawville American Legion Commander Lance Carr dedicated the new retractable flag that was donated by the Okawville High Booster Club and Okawville Lions.
Students of military families who carried the flags for each branch of service were: Aubrey Krieger, Brendan Krieger, Skylar Wilfong, Brianna Sweet, Sidney Charles, and Gabe Charles.
The FFA and sponsor Josh Berg made the stand to display the flags.
Students reading about the branches of service were: Wyatt Nobe, Ally Frerker, Aubrey Lange, Ian Hewitt, Brinley Kohnen, Alex Salazar.
Boy Scouts Emil Galliano and Aiden Parker conducted a Flag Folding demonstration.
Winners of the Patriots Pen contest Anna Herzig and Voice Of Democracy Essay winner Laura Cook read their essays.
The program ended with a round of applause for the veterans and the kindergarten students holding letters that spelled out “Happy Veterans Day”.