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Fort Gibson students honor veterans

Muskogee Phoenix - 11/20/2018

Nov. 20--FORT GIBSON -- It was impossible not to feel patriotic in the Fort Gibson High School gymnasium Wednesday.

Whether it was Jolee Walker of the Early Learning Center (ELC) wearing red, white and blue stars on her head or the numerous children waving American flags, the gym was filled with children of all ages, adults and people from the community for the annual Veterans Day program.

If that wasn't enough, the playing and singing of patriotic songs filled the air in the gym.

Cub Scout Troop 638 marched in and later retired the colors during the event.

Performances by the high school band as well as the Intermediate Elementary, Middle and High school choirs raised their voices along with students from the ELC. The elementary choir sang, "We are thankful for the USA."

Applause rang out through the gym when the high school band played the various songs from each of the Armed Forces, and audience members who served in that particular branch of the military stood up to be recognized during their particular song.

No one felt prouder than Lt. Col. Brian DeShazo, who served in the US Army from 1990-2018. He was the program's guest speaker.

"I just choked up with pride out there," he said. "I thought about my memories of service. I was very honored when I was asked to do this. I figured it was the least I could to honor our veterans and share with the kids so they could learn about them."

Deshazo, who has several medals and decorations including the Bronze Star, spoke from the heart to the gym that was filled to capacity.

"I'm also honored to serve my country," he said. "I also served so my family members wouldn't have to, and I sacrificed and went to combat so they wouldn't have to. We don't take for granted the freedom we have."

A lone trumpet played taps after DeShazo spoke.

The program was delayed until Wednesday as students were taking trimester tests on Friday, two days before Veterans Day.

High school seniors Cooper Shook and Rosie Glover narrated the program.

"It was a big honor to come before my school and do this," Shook said. "It was nerve-wracking because I did it last year. My dad was in the Army and I felt patriotic doing it. I thought about him a couple of times out there. When I told him I was doing this, he told me to speak clearly."

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(c)2018 the Muskogee Phoenix (Muskogee, Okla.)

Visit the Muskogee Phoenix (Muskogee, Okla.) at muskogeephoenix.com

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