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Wellsville schools honor local veterans

Wellsville High School Principal Coy Sudvary speaks at Monday’s Veterans Day assembly with master of ceremony Don Croskey seated to the right. (Photo by Julie Riedel)

WELLSVILLE — Local veterans were invited to Wellsville High School for an assembly for Veteran’s Day on Monday. During the assembly, students thanked the veterans through video presentations and the school system honored them through patriotic music and speeches. The third, seventh and high school’s Ebony and Ivory choirs sang. Students from Garfield Elementary and the high school put together the videos.

All Wellsville students attended the assembly held in the high school gymnasium. The service started with a moment of silence for the Veterans who have passed, before Mayor Nancy Murray gave the welcoming.

The master of ceremonies for the assembly was Don Croskey, Navy Veteran and president of the Wellsville Memorial Council and VFW Post 5647 quartermaster.

“The military is good to go into, and I should have stayed in longer, and we have a lot of vets in Wellsville,” said Croskey. “The program they do here is nice and the videos are awesome.”

During his speech Croskey spoke about his time as a medical assistant. He served on the CBA 19 USS Hancock aircraft carrier during Vietnam. Croskey spoke about his time on the floating city and his unexpected path to becoming a medical assistant. He mentioned hating studying health in high school, but it was a better option than mopping. He quipped “these hands weren’t made to hold a mop.”

“I loved it (serving in the Navy). I learned a lot and never dreamed of being a medical assistant,” said Croskey.

High School Principal Coy Sudvary, went around introducing the veterans present. Typically Croskey would do this, but as Sudvary’s first year as principal he asked if he could. During their presentation each veteran was given the chance to introduce themselves and share their military history. Some spoke about family members who could not attend and others shared stories about their days in the service. Army Veteran Bob Witherow shared he received his discharge papers to leave Vietnam 50 years ago on Nov. 13.

Vietnam Veteran Aaron Roach, spoke about the honor it was to serve but asks parents to educate their children before they join the armed forces. Saying there’s nothing wrong with serving the country, but they should know what they are getting into, because sacrificing one’s life is not a matter to take lightly.

Katrina King, Army Veteran said “I think serving our country is an opportunity every child should take. It gives them accountability and it roots them and gives them a sense of gravity, and lets them understand the responsibility and what it means to be an American, and the cost of freedom, and people don’t understand what freedom is and they don’t understand the price.”

After the assembly the veterans were served lunch, with students acting as waiters.

“I’m very proud to have so many veterans from Wellsville came to the school today. We’re very thankful for their service,” said Sudvary.

jriedel@reviewonline.com

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