CUSTER COUNTY—Approximately 130,000 veterans live in Nebraska (according to an article released by Governor Pete Ricketts) and this week students across central Nebraska are honoring those who have served or are currently serving in the United States Military.
A variety of Custer County and surrounding public schools will be hosting programs this week to honor veterans with music, poetry, the posting of our nation’s flag, moments of silence, and guest speakers.
Upcoming Veterans Day Programs at Local Schools:
Anselmo-Merna: November 11 @ 9:30 a.m.
Ansley: November 11 @ 9 a.m.
Arcadia: November 11 @ 10 a.m.
Arnold: November 11 @ 10 a.m.
Callaway: November 11 @ 10 a.m.
Litchfield: November 11 @ 10:30 a.m.
Loup County (Taylor): November 11 @ 10:45 a.m.
Sandhills (Dunning): November 8 @ 11 a.m.
Sargent: November 11 @ 9 a.m.
Sumner-Eddyville-Miller (SEM): November 11 @ 2:35 p.m.
Thedford: November 11 @ 2 p.m.
November 11, 2019 marks the 101st anniversary of the peace treaty that ended World War I, known as Armistice Day to commemorate World War I veterans. According to the article released by Governor Ricketts, Congress officially declared Armistice Day a federal holiday in 1938. Sixty-five years ago, in 1954, President Eisenhower renamed the holiday as Veterans Day to extend recognition to all U.S. veterans.
Broken Bow Public Schools and the Disabled American Veterans welcomed the community to pay tribute to area veterans on Monday morning. Superintendent Darren Tobey introduced veterans and gave a little history surrounding November 11.
Retired Air Force navigator Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Wood served as Monday’s guest speaker in which he highlighted some of the benefits of military service. Lt. Col. Wood said the Broken Bow veterans program was a tremendous occasion in which to gather as a community to honor those who have served before, those who are currently serving, and inspire some students to possibly serve in the future.
People of many ages join the United States Military for a variety of reasons, Lt. Col. Wood explained, such as a family tradition, financial reasons, and tuition assistance among others. He added that some of the veterans in the audience may have even been drafted to serve our country.
Having served as an active duty navigator, the Air Force Veteran said he joined the military after about a year of working as an accountant after college. He discovered accounting was not for him and wanted to find some stability and a long-term contract that military service offers. Despite all of the benefits available, Lt. Col. Wood said it ultimately comes down to the ability to serve your country.
“Through my Air Force experiences I have gotten to travel the world. That is another great benefit to the military service is that opportunity to travel,” Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Wood said. “Joining the Air Force definitely was the best choice I could have made. I couldn’t be happier with how my life has turned out since then.”
Lt. Col. Wood was stationed in Florida, North Carolina, and Missouri serving in the Air Force and Air Force Reserve to train air crews from all around the world. He graduated from Chadron State College, earned his MBA from Webster University, and retired from the military after 21 years. Lt. Col. Wood and his wife Dana now live in Broken Bow with their two kids.
“It was truly a great 21 years of service and I couldn’t imagine my life turning out better any other way. To all of our veterans and their families I’d like to say thank you for your service. God bless you and God bless the United States of America,” Lt. Col. Wood said.