School honors veterans

Annual luncheon resumes after 3 years


Mary Corkery

Embracing her grandfather Robert Schleich, junior Mia Ell helps celebrate the return of the annual Veterans Day luncheon. Schleich, a Specialist 5 ranked Army veteran who served from 1966-1969, was stationed in Vietnam from 1967-1968. The luncheon took place in person for the first time since 2019 on Nov. 11. See story on page 3.

The Coordination of Cooperative Education (CCE) class sponsored the first Veterans Day Luncheon since 2019 on November 11.

Business teacher Laurie Philipp, who teaches CCE and helped organize the luncheon, said that it was exciting to have the program return after it was replaced with a parade last year.

“We’re super excited to do it in-person because I know the veterans love the event. They get so excited about it and they were sad that we weren’t able to have it in person the last few years,”

First, the veterans were invited to watch a program in the theater that Philipp says included musical entertainment from students, guest speakers, and a missing man table to honor fallen soldiers.

“The orchestra plays, the band plays, the choir sings, then we do different things like the missing man table. A poem is read, we do the pledge. Our National Honor Society has a coloring contest and those winners are brought it and they’re a part of the event,” Phillip said.

Then, the veterans walked through the commons with a standing ovation from the first lunch shift and more music from the band. The event concluded with a lunch catered from Andre’s in the upper gym. Larry Klump, an Airman E3 navy veteran who served in Vietnam from 1970-1972, said he enjoyed coming to the event, especially the slideshow that showcased all of the veterans in the theater. Klump had been to luncheons in the previous years and was happy to see its return in 2022.

“We went in and did the presentation and heard the music. Everything was great. The [slideshow was] good,” Klump said. “After COVID, everything should come back. Seeing other guys who did the same thing is neat.”

While there was a concern that attendance would dip this year due to the scheduling and the two-year hiatus, Philipp said that she actually had to order more meals for attendees.

“I think some have passed away that used to come regularly, and then I think because we’re having the event on Veterans Day this year, it’s crossing over with a lot of other Veterans Day events too,” Philipp said. “[But] I actually had to add on meals the day before. We had 175 meals and I think we had about 80 veterans and their guests.”

The event was funded by grants from the Rockwood PSO and NEA, as well as the profit from the cookies the CCE class has sold throughout the year. Senior Matt Bye said that the CCE students also helped with setting up and serving the veterans during the luncheon.

“We set up all the flags outside, and then all of the CCE kids helped move stuff from the theater to the gym, set up tables, and serve veterans,” Bye said.