Montevallo Elementary students recognize veterans

Published 3:58 pm Monday, November 11, 2013


MONTEVALLO – Montevallo Elementary hosted a Veterans Day program Nov. 8 honoring America’s veterans, or the “heroes among us,” according to the program.

After beginning the program with a presentation of flags, the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem, students from each grade level read letters they wrote to veterans as part of Letters for Liberty, a program that seeks volunteers to write hand-written notes to be delivered to American soldiers.

Kindergartener Ethan Juarez, whose father is currently deployed, read a short but personal note.

“Thank you Dad for saving us,” Juarez said.

Retired U.S. Army Maj. Loren McAnally, who served two years in Vietnam as a pilot, served as the event’s keynote speaker and gave those in attendance a brief history of Veterans Day.

McAnally said Veterans Day was originally started in 1919 to honor World War I veterans, but as more wars were fought, the day has expanded to include all living veterans.

During his speech, McAnally read a letter from President Barack Obama, in which he called on “all Americans … to support this day with appropriate programs and ceremonies.”

“You guys are doing this,” McAnally said to the students of Montevallo Elementary.

He also encouraged everyone in attendance to keep veterans’ stories alive by asking loved ones about the good and bad times of service.

“We’re all just normal people,” McAnally said of veterans. “Everybody had a job to do, and they did it, and they helped each other.”

Veterans were also recognized individually, with MES Principal Allison Campbell calling 33 veterans by name. The following veterans were recognized for their service:

Veterans of the U.S. Army were Pfc. Julius Colvin, Spc. Todd Motley, Staff Sgt. Harry Prettyman, Maj. Loren McAnally, Sgt. Willie Goldsmith, Grovonny Nunn, Cpl. Donald J. Smith, Sgt. Mike Macomb, Ernest Wright, Sgt. Preston Bell, Kenneth McDeavitt, Staff Sgt. Marcus Harris, Sgt. 1st Class Ronald Wittz, Sgt. 1st Class Doug Anthony, Salvador Juarez and Lt. Col. Eddie Blake.

Veterans of the U.S. Air Force were Senior Master Sgt. Henry Samuel Killian Sr., Senior Master Sgt. Dennis Lee Prettyman, Grovonny Nunn, Senior Airman Deidre Monk, Cpl. Louis Patrick, Staff Sgt. Stewart Snuggs and Sgt. Harold Hayes.

Veterans of the U.S. Marines were Lance Cpl. Michael Groleau and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gene Newman.

Veterans of the U.S. Navy were Sgt. Earl Cunningham, James Gibson, Petty Officer 1st Class Reshun Jones, Petty Officer 1st Class Jeff Broadhead, Petty Officer 3rd Class Clark Thompson, medic David Leak, Paul Baker and Chief Petty Officer Albert Jones.

Veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard was Petty Officer 1st Class Grady Masterson.