CUSTER COUNTY–Throughout the last week local schools gathered to honor the brave men and women who have served our nation and put their lives on the line for our freedom in observance of Veterans Day.
The American Legion, American Legion Riders, Disabled American Veterans, Sons of the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars joined with the students of Broken Bow Public Schools for a Friday morning ceremony.
All of the branches of the armed forces were recognized with veterans in attendance standing as able when their branch was called. Principal Dan Helberg welcomed attendees following the posting of colors, Pledge of Allegiance, and Star Spangled Banner.
The Broken Bow High School Choir performed “A Tribute to the Armed Services” and “Runnin’ Home to You” and the high school band performed “Rough Riders.” Student Rachel Simmons performed a reading followed by a moment of silence, Taps, and the retiring of colors to close out the ceremony.
Vietnam Veteran Tom Mills was acknowledged as an honored veteran with a reading by student Finn Denson. The Westerville native graduated from Ansley High School in 1968 and was drafted into the Army in 1969. After completing basic training, he was sent to Vietnam a year following the Tet Offensive.
Tom Mills was assigned to the 560th 9th infantry division and served south of Saigon. During his two-year deployment he conducted reconnaissance missions working in seven-man teams during the night to report on enemy troop movement. Tom returned home safely and worked on his family farm and Becton Dickinson for more than 34 years. Tom and his wife Joy have been married for 52 years and together they raised two children.
Below: “A Tribute to the Armed Services” arr. Lloyd Larson. Performed by BBHS Choir, Directed by Morgan Harms & accompanied by Angie Ripp.