Veterans were honored
at the seventh annual Veterans
Day Celebration held at
Spring Forest Middle School.
George W. Bush’s letter
to the nation’s schools
on Veterans Day:
send greetings to American students
and teachers celebrating Veterans
Day. Our nation’s veterans
are drawn from many generations
and from many backgrounds. These
selfless patriots have set a standard
of bravery and idealism for mankind
and earned the deep respect and
admiration of a grateful nation.
Bush and I appreciate your efforts
to observe this special day and
honor America’s veterans.
We encourage you to fly the flag,
participate in patriotic activities,
and learn more about our country
and the men and women who defended
her. Best wishes for a memorable
Veterans Day. May God bless you,
our troops and veterans, and our
More Veterans Day stories here
Hundreds of military veterans and their
families were honored Nov. 9 during the
seventh annual Veterans Day Celebration
and Breakfast held at Spring Forest Middle
School, 14240 Memorial Drive.
One highlight of this year’s celebration,
bigger than ever in size, scope and planning,
was a live video conference session in the
school gym with several young Marines from
Texas who are serving in Iraq near Fallujah,
about 40 miles west of Baghdad on the Euphrates
Students quizzed the Marines about their
daily lives, their families and how they
signed up. “I’d always wanted
to be a soldier since I was a little kid.
I followed through with my dream,” Cpl.
Gleich of Conroe told those gathered in
the Spring Forest Middle gym.
Lance Cpl. Anderson, an Elkins High School
graduate, joined the Marines after the Sept.
11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “The
biggest difference between my life now and
before is free time,” he said. He
has much less of it today.
This year marks the 55th anniversary of
Veterans Day, which traces back to Nov.
11, 1921, and the memorial burial service
for an unknown American soldier held at
Arlington Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
In 1952, President Dwight Eisenhower signed
a bill that changed the name of Armistice
Day to Veterans Day.
Spring Forest Middle students and staff
applauded and cheered the young Marines.
Earlier in the assembly, they showered about
75 veterans with a standing ovation until
each honoree who had served in peace time
or during World War II, Korea, Vietnam or
the Gulf War was seated with their particular
service branch – Army, Air Force,
Marines, Navy or Coast Guard.
Before the assembly, about 250 veterans
and family members attended a hearty breakfast
sponsored by the campus PTA. The school
library was decorated in patriotic colors,
stars and service-related photographs of
local military men and women.
Middle school students escorted veterans
and their families from the school parking
lots to the library breakfast.
Titled “Celebrating Our Country’s
Heroes,” the patriotic assembly included
prepared remarks by student speakers, performances
by the school’s band, choir and orchestra,
a short theater group presentation, and
a PowerPoint slide show featuring photographs
of local veterans.
A student trumpeter performed Reveille early
in the assembly. Taps was performed
near the end. Navy JROTC program students
from The Guthrie Center presented the colors.
Campus Principal Shawn Bird introduced veterans
and read a brief summary about their military
The student-led program extolled the Spring
Branch-area residents. The program’s
masters of ceremonies were Student Council
Co-Presidents Austin Stephens and Will Lynde
and National Jr. Honor Society President
Riley Bradshaw and Vice President Julia
“We proudly salute our military today,
those who have served in the past, and those
who are currently serving across the globe,” Boy
Scout Matthew Greene said during the Presentation
of Colors program. “Let us remember
those who have given the ultimate sacrifice
to preserve the freedoms that we so cherish
“We especially salute the 4,250 soldiers
who have perished in the current war on
terror in both Iraq and Afghanistan We also
want to remember the thousands of soldiers
who have been wounded in combat.”
“We can never repay our debt of gratitude
to the more than 655,000 American service
members who have died defending our country,
or the more than 1.5 million who have been
wounded,” said Julia Green, National
Jr. Honor Society vice president. “We
can, however, thank the 17 million veterans
who are living today.”
Guest speaker was Army Staff Sgt.
Otis Cobb II
The assembly’s guest speaker was
Army Staff Sgt. Otis Cobb II of Houston,
a 14-year veteran who is station commander
at the Memorial City Mall military recruiting
station. “So many people walk up to
me and say, ‘Thank you for all that
you do.’ It is my comrades serving
overseas in 120-degree weather that we are
really honoring here,” he said.
In related events, Spring Forest Middle
students collected donations for the group
Hometown Heroes, which supports returning
American soldiers. Anne Lacy, who has taught
37 years at the middle school, and her husband,
Roger, donated antique flags to the school
in memory of family members who have served
in the military.
Heritage Texas Properties sponsored the
Veterans Day Celebration. Realtor
Robin Mueck was presented with a special
plaque to honor her office’s generous
Tiger TV slide show of veterans photos