Rolla Middle School students share stories of their military heroes for Veterans Day

Anthony Henderson is a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps prepared him to command 1,200 Marines in Southern Afghanistan to engage in the battle of his life.
He was awarded the bronze medal with "Valor." He went to Fort Jugroom to fight a battle. He won the battle. After the battle he was in Afghanistan for 6 months. He did a lot to win the battle.

He might not as big as Superman, but he is just as important. He led an army into battle. Superman did not lead an army into battle like Henderson. Henderson had to go to a training camp that was really tough. Superman didn't even work for his powers.

The Marine Corps are a hard group to get into and he was a colonel. This is why Anthony Henderson is a military hero.

– Josh Pritchett

I have many military heroes. Some of them I know by name, but many of them I do not.
My first military hero is my step dad; Lt Col. Eric Goser (retired). Through him, I have learned a lot about the military and have been able to experiences a few happy and sad moments many military families experiences. These experiences have given me some life lessons that will stay with me always. So "Thank You" Eric for this experience and "Thank You" for having served our country in the United States Army for many years.

My other military heroes are the men and women who have previously served in our military. I don't know all of their names and some have now passed away. I see some of the retirees at stores. Some of the men wear black ball caps. My mom often tells me what branch of service they served in. I now can look at their caps and read it too. We often thank these gentlemen for their military service. "Thank You" to both men and women for your prior service. I am grateful you fought for our country before me and my parents were even born. This has assured our country's freedom and us being raised in the land of the free and of the brave. "Thank You!"

My other military heroes are the soldiers who again, I don't know their names. What I do know is this: The soldiers just made it to Fort Leonard Wood and stepped off a big bus. They just returned from being in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their families are hugging them and crying because they are so happy to see them! There are a few soldiers whose family could not be there to greet them. What those few soldiers don't know is, we are about to go welcome them home! I shake these soldiers' hands and welcome them back! This makes me feel good in my heart. These soldiers are home again. I am thankful they are out of harm's way. I am thankful they will soon go home to their families. "Thank You" for serving our country and continuing to keep our country's freedom!

My other military heroes are no longer on earth, but in Heaven. They are our Fallen Heroes. I do not know their names, but know there are many. Twice now, in my 11 years of life, I've stood in honor as I watch the hearse drive by. With on hand I hold our American Flag, while my other hand is placed over my heart. I try to blink the tears away. "Thank You." "God bless you, and I pray for your family."

And finally, I've stood at the grave stone several times quietly thanking an unknown soldier from long ago. He didn't know me and I never knew him. I whisper "Thank You" and say a prayer for him. This solder is somebody pretty special though. He was willing to protect us all and either gave his life in battle or a portion of his life serving in the military for us, not even knowing you or me. This is what a hero is. That is what our soldiers have done and continue to do.

For me, every day is Veteran's Day. From the bottom of my heart, "Thank You!"

– Hannah Cooper

My military hero is my dad. His name is Shawn Wilkes. He is in the Army. He has moved so many times! He has been to Texas, South Carolina, here in Missouri, Georgia, and he's even been to two different countries. He's been to Afghanistan and Iraq. He is an engineer in the Army. He knows how to operate lots of Army equipment. He has been a sergeant for a long time. Three years to be exact. He is staff sergeant promotable. He's been promoted five times and deployed twice. His occupational specialty is operating heavy construction equipment.

That means he gets to work with gigantic vehicles. My favorite that he works with is the crane. It has a really long arm on the front of it. There is a really long cable with a hook on the end of it. This is how the crane works: he has to know how much the object weighs so he can put it into a mathematical formula, so that he can lift the vehicle safely so that it doesn't tip over and crash. I love him so much. It is sad that he is retiring in a couple of weeks. I have seen a lot of his Army equipment. It is all so tough and heavy. I know because I wore a whole suit. He trains other soldiers that do not know as much as he does to work with large vehicles. I love my father and he loves our nation.

– Madison Wilkes

My war hero is my grandpa. He served in the Navy during the Vietnam War in 1969-71. He currently lives in Rolla.

When I asked him about his life in the Navy, he said, "It was a great learning experience because I got to travel around the world to places like Japan, Hawaii, Hong Kong, and the Phillipines. It was scary there at the time in Dangog Harbor, Vietnam because there was where the war was for about four years. Most of it was in California on a ship and sometimes on shore. He worked in the finance and payroll center.

It was fun when he went to Japan places I said before. He lived in San Diego, California too. He got to know many different people: friends, family. He finished up his last year on shore duty. Then I asked, "What is the Navy?" He said, "The Navy is part of our national defense like the Army, Air Force, and Marines and stuff like that. The Navy controls the waterways and seas. Some of the ships he's been on were the USS Collette, which is a destroyer; USS Linde Marmick, which was a guided missile destroyer; USS Jouette, which is a guided missile frigit jewit destroyer. My grandpa Joe Kapeller. I am proud that I have my grandpa.

– Hayley Hohner

My military hero is my dad. My dad was born on March 13, 1973. When he was growing up he was a kickboxer, wrestler, and also a football player. He loved to watch people fight and he also loved guns. So decided once he was done with high school, he wanted to join the Army. That was exactly what he did. This year is his 20th year of being in the Army. He tells me that he loves being in the Army because he likes to fight for our country, and also he likes the different places that he has lived since he has been in the Army. I look up to my dad and I thank him for fighting for our country. That's why my dad is my military hero. I love him a lot.

– Alexis Newkirk

I was a baby when my dad was called on the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, to the 131st Fighter Wing in St. Louis. His unit was called up after the Twin Towers fell.

My dad had been in the Air Force, active duty, since he was 18, but now he was a Missouri Air National guardsman and I wouldn't see him for over a year. He would go on to serve in support of Operation Southern Watch while assigned to the 363rd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron in the Middle East. He worked on a joint task force to prevent terrorists from shooting down U.S. soldiers that were coming in C-5s to support the current troops stationed there. There were some close calls, especially when out on night patrols.

My dad has done a lot in his military career and continues to serve with the Air Force Reserve at Whiteman Air Force Base, where he is a crew chief. From stories of survival training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, fire ants at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB) in Texas during basic training, launching an ICBM at Vandenburg AFB in California, missile alerts going off in the fields of North Dakota in 40 below temperatures. I never tire of hearing stories of my Dad and his experiences in the military.

According to my dad, "freedom isn't free." May God bless our veterans and those who continue to keep our homeland free. Thanks for being my military hero Dad.

– Lizzie DeNoon

My military hero is my Uncle Jeff. He is my hero because he fights for my freedom, justice, and liberty.

My Uncle Jeff is in the 82nd Airborne which is in the Army. Right now he is stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. When I grow up I want to be in the Airborne just like him.

I do not get to see him often, but when I do I have lots of fun. The favorite thing I like to do with my uncle is listen to him talk and how to jump out of an airplane.

I think it is very important to respect our veterans and our soldiers who fight for us, or fought for us to live freely.

I don't think we can pay enough respect to our veterans and current soldiers who fight and risk their lives for me, my mom, my dad, my sister, my brother, or anyone so that we can live freely in the home of the brave.

My uncle is one of those soldiers out of many more and I am proud of that.

– Treyton Ruth

My great grandfather, Edwin Mills, was an Army Air Corps B-24 Liberator Bomber Pilot during World War II. He was a Battalion Commander over 40 missions. He ended his military career in 1945 after the war ended. It makes me feel so proud to know he served our country with courage.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, he joined the NYC police department, but switched to the NYC fire department after a couple of years. He worked there for 20 years on Engine Company #1. He spent his entire life sacrificing himself to help others. I hope one day to be as brave as him.

He was married to his wife, Muriel, for over 50 years. He had 5 children, one of which was my grandma, Joanne. I met my great-grandfather one time when I was a baby. He fed me eggs and I puked all over his shirt. I wish for him to remember the good times we had together.

– Colton Richards

My military hero is construction mechanic 2nd class petty Curtis L. Cox. He is my uncle. He has been in the Navy since February 4th 2004. He was injured June 26, 2006 when the Humvee he was in hit an I.E.D. due to the injuries he received. He had to have many surgeries and physical therapies. He refused to give up. My uncle Curtis received a purple heart for his wounds. There are only about 80 Navy people who have received the Purple Heart. My uncle Curtis had a choice to leave the Navy but he refused to leave. So now he is a recruiter in Peoria, Illinois. After everything he went through, he remains in the Navy. He is an uncle, dad, husband, son, and my hero.

– Emily Rohrer

My military hero is my great grandpa Randall. He served in the navy in World War II on a personnel transfer, the U.S.S. Comet. He was also in Korea. Grandpa Randall was the hero to the people of Effingham, Ill., and everyone who knew him, not only because he was in the military, but also because he saved someone's life. He was driving down the road on this 80th birthday when there was a car crash. He pulled the people out of a burning car. Grandpa Randall still lives in our hearts, even though he died almost a year ago. My hero is Randall Jones.

– Jessica Kimball

My military hero is my great grandma, Sgt. (Sergeant) Louise Johnson. She was in the Marine Corps. She died about 4 years ago. She was serving during the Korean War. She also was a photographer for a post commander in Hawaii. That is why my great grandma is my military hero.

– Joey Gregory

Thank you veterans for everything you do for our country and for me and for our freedom.

– Sheena Sprow, Charles Moentman, Kim Jannick, Kady Faulkner, and Tristin Johnson

Thank you veterans for everything you do four our country and for me. We would not be here right now.

Thank you so much for doing this for us. Thank you for everything you do for our country. I love you all for saving us and our country.

– Desiree Franklin

Dear Soldiers, Thank you for fighting for our country and for me.

– Juileon Ries

Thank you for everything you did for our country and for freedom.

– Gaines Johnson

Thank you for everything for our country and bringing peace for the world. Also thank you for what you have done for the entire world. What would we do without you?

Ellie Gebhard

My military hero is my Dad because he fought in the war. I am so proud of my Dad for saving my country.

– Tony Rossy

My granddad, Thomas M. Colvin, is my hero because he fought for his country. From 1966 to 1973 he was in the Air Force. He was stationed at Headquarters Factacal Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia; Namkon Phenon, Thailand; Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, Texas; and Southern Command, Fort Clayton, Panama Canal Zone.

At headquarters he was the public radio announcer for the Air Force Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds fly around the United States. In Thailand he was also a radio announcer. Also in Thailand he got to interview President Lyndon B. Johnson when he stopped by the base, but during the radio shows he had to have a gun by him because the enemy would try to sneak on base. In Texas he was a directive producer for training films. In Panama he was the supervisor of radio and television and was the host of a children's show called Sheriff Tom's Town. The reason he joined the military is because he felt like he needed to do his duty in the Vietnam War. One of his very best friends was a loadmaster and one week before he was to come home, their plane crashed and killed all of them. What he liked about serving was he got to take his family with him. In fact his two children, Tonya and Brad, were born in the Panama Canal Zone. That's why my Grandad is my hero.

– Brenna Heavin

George S. Patton, Jr. was born November 11, 1885, to George S. Patton, Sr. and Ruth Wilson in Gabriel, California. Patton was a distinguished officer in the U. S. Army. Patton began his career at the Virginia Military Institute. After attending there he later attended West Point where he graduated with honor in 1909.

In 1912, Patton participated on the Summer Olympics pentathlon team. Patton had also designed the U. S. Cavalry's last combat sabor, the Patton Sabor. In the year 1912, Patton led an attack during the Mexican Border Campaign.

Patton was in World War I when he was the first office to be assigned the U. S. Tank Corps. During World War II, he commanded armies in North Africa. Two years later, Patton died December 21, 1945.

– Alorah Jones

My dad is my hero because he is in the Army and stayed in the Army for my family. He has traveled all over the world. He even took me with him to live in Germany. I have been able to do many things because he loves me.

My dad went into the Army at the age of 20. Where he went to basic training was in South Carolina. After basic training, he was sent to Fort Belvoir to be trained as a geospatial analyst.

Next he was sent to Korea where we lived in Seoul. There he met a beautiful military police officer. They were married and began a family. Next they moved to Fort Bragg in North Carolina. My daddy was a part of the 82nd Airborne Division and jumped out of perfectly good airplanes. Then he was sent to work in Hawaii. By this time our family has three children. I wasn't there yet. So it was my two brothers and sister. Next he was sent to Fort Belvoir again, this time to be military instructor. This place is my favorite because it is where I was born, Fredericksburg, Virginia, which is where George Washington was born. Next he went to Fort Bragg again! This time unfortunately my dad had to go to war. Twelve months after serving in Iraq, he finally came home to me.

Today when I think of all the places my dad has been, and all the things he has done to help protect my country and me, it always makes me smile. He is just not a hero because he served in the Army, but mostly because he is my daddy.

– Alorah Jones

My military hero is my grandfather. His name is David Otto Copeland. He is married, has three children, and seven grandchildren. He is my hero because he is a United States veteran, and it's because of him and many others that I can enjoy the freedoms I have today. My grandfather has taught me so much about life, is always entertaining my family with stories, and has a very generous heart.

David Otto Copeland served in the U. S. Army for 11.5 years. He started out as an officer after joining the ROTC program in college and earned the rank of Captain before he retired. He served during the Vietnam War for six years. During his time in the military service, he and his family were stationed in many different countries. Some of those countries were the United States, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Austria.

My grandfather says that his life in the Army was a good one. He served in the Corps of engineers where he was an Intelligence Officer.. He kept all of the secret documents and had reconnaissance teams that were sent out to look for bivouac sites. During one of these missions his team had found a location where they built WWII bombs and had a high reading of radiation. He had a lot of responsibility but he really enjoyed his time with the Corps of Engineers.

One of the most memorable stories for him happened when he was in Germany. It was during the Summer Olympics of 1972 when a group of 11 people from the Israel Olympics team were captured and held hostage by terrorists to trade them for money, ammunition, and weapons. Soon, these 11 people were killed and it was then that the American Army and the German police went into high alert.

I am honored to call David Otto Copeland my grandfather and proud to say he is my military hero.

– Kayla V. Copeland

My military hero is my grandpa, Captain Gary L. Hilding. He was in the Army from 1969-75 and served in the Vietnam War. My grandpa also was stationed in Germany and lived there with his family, which included his wife (my grandma), his son (my uncle), and his daughter (my Mom).

In 1969, there was going to be a draft for the military. My grandpa went early and enlisted. He later became a helicopter pilot for the Army. Some helicopters he flew were the Huey helicopter, which took soldiers into battle and took wounded soldiers out of battle. He also flew a Cobra, which has a pilot flying while a co-pilot shoots out the window. One of the big awards he earned while fighting for our country was the Air Medal. This great award is given to any soldier who showed meritorious achievement in aerial flight.

Some other interesting facts about Captain Hilding are that he had a bullet proof vest called a chicken plate. This protected soldiers' hearts. Also, he enlisted in the Army when he was only 20 years old! These are some facts about my grandpa, Captain Gary L. Hilding, who is my American military hero.

– Emmie Bryant

My military hero is my Great Grandpa Hurley. Luckily he didn't die in the military, but he died about six years ago. He is my hero because he wanted to serve his life to try to save millions of others.

Even though he wanted to be a cook, he didn't get to because you don't get to pick what you are. So he had to be mechanic. The reason he wanted to be a cook is because he loved to cook.

The branch of military he was in was the Army. My grandpa Hurley was 76 years old when he died. Even though he passed away, I will always remember him in my heart.

– Nathaniel Roe

My grandpa was a very brave man. His name is Victor G. Venweren. He was in two wars. One was Vietnam. My grandpa was in the battle 3,828 days.

He was also in some of World War II. My grandpa was in the battle for 4 years and 2 days.

My grandpa is my war hero. I still see him every year when I go up to Michigan. He had several war buddies during the war. Some of them died.

He has many great stories about the wars. Some are sad, some are funny. He is a very great guy. He is also my war hero. I hope he lives a good life. He could die any day. I love my grandpa. He is my war hero.

– Jayden

My military hero is my Grandpa, James Messenger. He began his military career in 1955 with the National Guard at the age of 17. In 1958, he enlisted in the Army as a Private first Class. During his 23 year career with the Army, he served in over 20 countries including Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Austria, and china. He landed on four continents during his service. He survived his service during Vietnam.

Sergeant First Class Messenger, retired, trained many soldiers how to use grenade launchers, claymore mines, M-1, M-14, M-16, M-60, .45 automatic pistol, and .155 Howitzer tanks. He operated heavy equipment, constructed roads and bridges, and blew up bridges. The last bridge he brought down was the last bridge needing demolished prior to the flooding of the valley which is now known as Truman Lake at Warsaw, Mo.

Some of my Grandpa's memories included serving as a guard for General Joe Stillwell and being a member of the color guard for the 13th Engineer Division. James Messenger retired as a Platoon Sergeant in 1978. He currently serves as the Commander of the American Legion, Post 470, and resides in Plato, Missouri with his wife of 54 years, Betty. They have four sons and many grandchildren.

– T J Messenger

Everyone who serves in the Air Force, Marines, Army, Navy, or Coast Guard is a military hero. Every day they risk their lives for our freedom and protection. This is how we are safe and happy today. Although many people are fighting for us, my topic today is my military hero. This is my papa, Gary Smith.

My papa Gary served in the Army during the Vietnam War. He was drafted to serve his country on December 7, 1967 at the age of only 19. After training at Fort Bliss, Texas and Fort Polk, Louisiana, he was assigned to be part of a reconnaissance unit in the war. I think that he was very brave to be going through this at such a young age!

Papa left for Vietnam on June 1, 1968. He was assigned to a reconnaissance unit. Their job was to seek out enemy forces and call in American forces. There were about 15 to 20 people in this unit. During his time in this unit he accomplished many things. This makes me so proud.

My papa Gary was a very brave man and made some pretty big accomplishments in his time in the Army. These include awards and medals for his courageous acts of heroism. He earned two bronze stars, one with a "V" device. The bronze star medal is an individual military award for United States. It may be awarded for acts of heroism, acts of merit, or for meritorious service it a combat zone. The "V" device is awarded with acts of heroism.

Grandpa also earned a Soldier's Medal while in Vietnam. This is for saving a life. The life he saved was one of the radioman in his reconnaissance unit. This was the man who carried a lot of weight on his back of the radio system, which was the unit's only way of communication with the headquarters. He had slid into a waterfall's current and the equipment on his back was dragging him down, drowning him. Papa then pulled the radioman out, heavy equipment and all, and saved the man.

It has been quite a while since papa Gary served in the military. After he came home from the military he has occupied many jobs and lived many places. He married Grandma Donna and had three beautiful kids (one being my mom!). He now is retired and works all day on his large farm in the Ozarks. He wouldn't be able to keep up with without us five grandkids of course!

This is the story of my military hero. I hope you enjoyed it and learned a little too! Today I am happy to say that I am the granddaughter to the fearless, courageous, wonderful Gary Smith!

– Ashley Barth

Major Troy Scott was a true hero. He did so much for the USA. His deployment to eastern Afghanistan was his first. He left his friends and family to join the army. Major Scott earned many medals such as the Purple Heart, bronze star, and the commendation medal. Learning the land and its history was key to Major Scott and his task force. Major Scott was assigned as senior U.S. adviser to the polish military contingent in Afghanistan. I think Major Troy Scott was a hero because if he hadn't done what he would had to send three times the troops to Afghanistan he was the deputy commander to a 200-man task force. Major Scott was also recommended for the Silver Star and the Distinguished Service Cross. It was Major Scott's job to ensure that the American expectations were understandable for the Poles. For whom English was not their second language but their third. Scott who had no previous experience with the polish military or even the polish language, observed the melding of two armies and cultures , fighting alongside each other for a shared goal in an unknown space.

– Billy Webb

Marci Hodge is a brave American woman. She's a role model to many people. Marci never gives up.

Marci is caring. She moved thousands of books for a school moving from Jordan to Iraq. She helped fixed a plant to provide more jobs. Marci once said "People matter. Regardless of where they are."

Marci says great things. "It is your duty to give back." "I can move anything." "I'm not interested in revealing traumatic events, this job creates stability." These quotes show that Marci has a good personality.

Maj. Hodge deserves her bronze star award. She helped many people in Iraq. She is described as a logistician and civil affairs officer.

Marci Hodge is an amazing woman. She helps people in their time of greatest need. She is a hero

– Adrienne Pyeatt

My military heroes are my grandparents, Andrew and Catherine Cassidy. They served in the Army. When I was three years I saw a picture of my grandpa and said "Grandpa, you're a bus driver!" but now I know that it was an Army picture!

My grandpa served from July 8, 1979 to August 31, 2000, for 21 years. He was an Army dentist. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, 3 meritorious medals, and many more. He served in Operation Desert Storm and retired as a Colonel.

My grandma served from 1974 to 1981, for 7 years. She was a Private from 1974 to 1978, during school. From 1976 to 1978 she was at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing in Washington D.C. and from 1978 to 1981 she was an Army nurse, finishing as a Captain. She took care of Cuban refugees, one of whom shot his foot off, and another that had leprosy.

They say that serving God and country are their best memories. I'm proud of my courageous grandparents.

– Sierra R. Cassidy

My grandma is ralph Hutchison and he was in the Army. He is a hero to me because he was willing to sacrifice everything for his family and our country.

His army name was corpil ralph Otto Hutchison he went to the army when he was only nineteen years old. His job was a nurse's aid. He came in as a private and left a corpil. I asked him and he said it was sometimes easy. He was in the army for about four or five years.

Ralph was about 25 or 26 years old when he got out then he got married to my grandma Mary Hutchison. He will always love me and my brother forever and we will always love him.

– Sherlen Hutchison

My dad, Bryan Adams, was in the army from 1989-1993. He was a M1 Abrama turrent mech. The operation was named Desert Shield. When he went in he was 19 and when he came back he was 23. He was in Germany. He is 42 now and he is my military hero.

– Mikey Adams

My name is Mollie Gregory and my military hero is my dad, staff Sargent Christopher Gregory. He is my military hero because he has served for our country and has helped protect all of us. He is in the Army and has been for a long time. Over 20 years!

I also have another hero. My great aunt was in the Marines. Her rank was Sargent Louise Johnson. She served during the Korean War. She wasn't in the Korean War because women weren't allowed to fight during that time. She was one of the first women to join the Marines. Her generation was the reason women were allowed to fight. She was a great soldier but an even better grandmother. That is why these two people are my military heroes.

– Mollie Gregory

My military hero is my dad. In the army my dad was an MP (military police officer). In the army my dad worked with a lot of dogs. The main dog was a German Shepard. He helped it train to go to war. So you have to love dogs to do this. Of course my dad loves dogs.

I think my dad is a hero because he saved lives. Of course the dogs helped him. What my dad and the dogs did was the dog would go find survivors and bring something back to show they did.

Now my dad is a fireman. He gets a lot of calls for fires. My dad is the one that drives fire truck. He works day and night every day.

So even though my dad is not in the army he still saves lives, and with that he's even a more hero to me.

– Makenzie Proffitt

Heroes are blended throughout every community. Maybe they're your neighbor, or that sweet lady at the library. Maybe they're in your house (a family member). Everyone knows a hero, but there is always one or more that is special to you. My mom and dad are my special heroes.

My mom, Suzan Darknell, was a military police officer from 1989-1996. In that time he went to south Korea for a year, New York for 3 years, during the first attempt of the bombing of the world trade center, and lived in Hawaii for 3 years. Within those 7 years she met and married my dad.

My dad (Mitchell Darknell) is also a military police officer, he joined in 1992. He is still in the military, but will soon retire. Between now and then he has been to New York, Hawaii, Missouri, south Korea, Iraq (where he got the Bronze Star), Kentucky, Cuba, and is now back in Missouri where he is a First Sergeant in Alpha 795 MP CO.

I see my heroes every day, some people don't get to, maybe they passed away or live too far to see them regularly, but they still have to be remembered. Veterans Day is a day to celebrate my heroes and your heroes, they are all important!!!

– Sarah Darknell

My military hero is Ronald Komoroski. He served in the navy for 24 years. He is a retired command master chief. Ronald has been to 32 countries. He was in the desert storm war in 1991. Some of his favorite things to do while he served in the military were drilling wells in El Salvador. It was their first time with running water. Ronald also built playgrounds for kids in Africa. He helped with hurricane recovery in North Carolina. I am very proud of Ronald for serving in the military and helping so many people.

– Morgan Bell

My military hero is my friend's dad, Ben Hernandez. I think it's cool that every day he goes to work to fight for our country.

– Kiera Deskin

I have chosen my grandpa Joe Gordon as my military hero. My grandpa quit school at 17 to join the Army.

Being too young to go to war he started training in fort Gordon Georgia as a paratrooper. Paratroopers are soldiers that are trained for parachutes and are part of the airborne force. He was trained to jump out of a plane and into a combat zone. However, when his paratroops were deployed to Vietnam he was still too young to go to war.

He was then transferred to Fort Lewis Washington were he became part of the army's biggest infantry. He was part of the 4th infantry division the 4th infantry is known for training for battle and is were gun fighting is taught. Then that was where my grandpa should be. He became fully combat trained. In the fall of 1967 he shipped out of Fort Lewis Washington and after spending 2 weeks on a ship he arrived in Vietnam.

During Vietnam he was a gunman and used the M60 machine gun. This is one of the Army most popular weapons but it needed someone to feed the ammo while the gunman fired upon enemies, one day they had been ambushed and my grandpa melted the barrel to his gun because his ammo man had been shot and lost his life. My grandpa survived to fight another battle.

Shortly after the 4th infantry was moving locations and his helicopter was hit while landing in what is called hot LZ (landing zone) the heavy began to spin out of control and he was forced to jump out of the helicopter just before it exploded he was injured in the fall and after recovery he signed up for another tour in Vietnam. In route to Vietnam they learned his brother was in Vietnam so they relocated him to Korea. While stationed in he was nominated honor guard where he guarded the president which at the time was Lyndon B. Johnson after pulling president guard he was stationed back to state side in Kentucky. He served 8 years in the Army he moved back to West Virginia where he worked in the coal mines hauling dynamite.

Now the final event that continues to make him my hero was after 34 years after fighting Vietnam my grandfather lost his life to a cancer contracted from a chemical that the United States used in the Vietnam called agent orange. This was used to kill weeds little did they know it claimed the life of millions. My grandpa never really left Vietnam in his mind as many soldiers from Vietnam did and like many others lost his life to Vietnam. He will always be my military hero and I'm honored he gave his life to protect me and everyone else.

– Kate Gordon

My military hero is Larry Daniels. He is my grandfather. He was in the Army during Vietnam. During his tour he was stationed in Germany.

On his 21st birthday he was drafted to be in the military. During his military career he was in for two years of hard work with the Army.

In 1968 he was drafted to be in the military. Being drafted basically means that the government was in need of your service and required you to be in the military Larry did his basic training in Fort Lenardwood and in Texas. Some of the stuff he did during his training was rope swings over water, obstacle courses, and a barbwire wire 2 feet above mud, and he had to belly crawl with weapons with bullets whizzing over his head. So if you didn't stay down, then you would be shot.

One of the hardest things for Larry was leaving home. One of the things that Larry liked was the food. He said the food was really good in Germany. A cool thing for Larry was flying on airplanes.

In the Army Larry worked in shipping and receiving. Another job he had was a mechanic.

The reason I chose my grandpa as my military hero because he didn't chose to be in the military but he worked hard and came through for his country.

– Cole

My military hero is Deborah Sampson. She's my hero because she was the first women soldier in the military. When she enlisted for the war she didn't want anyone to know she was a woman so for her name she put "Robert Shirtlif".

Deborah was born December 17, 1760 in plympton, Massachusetts. Her parents were Jonathan and Deborah Bradford. Her five other siblings were John, Sylvia, Hanna, Elisha, Nenemiah. Deborah's husband was Benjamin Gannet. She died April 29, 1827.

Deborah had one son, two daughters, and an adopted child. Their names were Earl, Mary, Patience, and Sussana. They adopted Sussana from an orphanage nearby where they lived. They adopted her while the American revolutionary war was going on.

Deborah served for three years in the American revolutionary war and was wounded twice. To keep her secret that she was a women she cut a musket ball out of her thigh. A few weeks after that she got shot in the, she cut the bullets out with a knife used in war. Later, she got shot twice in the leg and once in the chest.

– Casey Simpson

My military hero's name is Robert Arnold. He is my grandfather. My grandfather fought in the Vietnam War as a Navy Seal. Becoming a Navy Seal is no easy feat as you will find out later on.

Robert Arnold was born on May 16, 1944 in Georgia. He grew up mostly living in Farmington, New Hampshire [my dad also grew up there]. When he was younger he enjoyed flirting with pretty girls. My grandfather's first job was at ANT, which lasted about three weeks. He also worked for several consecutive summers at an apple orchard.

Robert went to the Navy straight out of high school. He did not want to be on the farm or be drafted into the Army or Air Force so he volunteered to be drafted in the Navy. After passing a series of hard tests, Grandfather qualified to be a Navy Seal. The transition from high school to the Navy was difficult because Robert missed his middle brother and his mother. Being a Navy Seal means doing exactly what you are told, precisely when you are told to do it. Grandfather could have gone to the Navy yard where he could have fixed ships with dad and brother but chose not to.

My grandfather served on two submarines, the USS Albacore AGSS569 [1964-1968] and the USS Bang [two months in 1962]. The USS albacore is special because it broke the underwater speed record. Grandfather was in charge of the fresh water, fuel, and hydraulics [steering]. The USS Albacore was a test submarine. This meant that the crew on board would install unproven parts and equipment and observe how it affects the submarine in general.

After retiring from the Navy, Grandfather returned to New Hampshire and got a bachelor's degree in Forest Engineering at New Hampshire University. He currently lives in Tennessee where he loves to travel, fly his airplane, and go hunting. Grandfather also enjoys to go fishing and of course, devours every opportunity to occasionally visit his grandchildren. An estimated 5,550,000 people died during the Vietnam War. Any one of them could have been my grandfather, but we were blessed, and he is alive and happy.

– Carson Arnold

My big brother DaVon graduated from Rolla High School. He joined the Army National Guard after high school because he wanted to further his education, have a good career, and earn his own money. He believes in freedom for all of us and says that the past men and woman who served in the different branches of the military helped in defending our country and protecting our rights as Americans. My brother believes he should do his part do his part to protect us and defend our freedoms. That is why7 he joined the Army National Guard. I am so proud of my brother and he is my military hero.

– Danielle Jansen

My military hero is Mr. Daryol Butcher, but everyone calls him Mr. B. and he has worked in the Air Force and here are some of his own words:

I enlisted in the U. S. Air Force in 1949 and retired in 1969 in the grade of Master Sergeant or E7. I worked as Communication Specialist, as Ground Operator, and an Airborne Operator. My last eight years I worked as a Missile System Analyst Technician and retired after working in Space Interceptor Systems using the THOR missile with a warhead designed to destroy orbiting and suborbiting objects in space.

And that is one of Mr. B's wonderful Air Force stories.

– Jenna Sloan

There are many true heroes in the word, but none as brave and caring as Jared Monti. Monti was a hero by sacrificing his life to save his team and all of the U.S.

There were many things that Monti did before joining the military. He was born on September 20, 1975 in Raynham, Massa., to parents Paul and Janet Monti. He had a very adventurous attitude that he would keep for battle in the military. He lived in Raynham, was educated there, and graduated from Bridgewater-Raynham High School in 1994. His military life had already started. He enlisted in the Army in 1993.

Before he applied for the military, he was interested in body building. Monti had wrestled, becoming the New England Wresting champion. In 2006 though, he was sent to fight in Afghanistan. The hero in him was about to show.

He had fought with a light group of 16. They set up a fort in Northern Afghanistan. This was kept secret until an ally supply helicopter showed their position. They were attacked by about 6 enemies. The group was outnumbered 4:1. One man was then injured under heavy fire. Monti attempted three times to save his fallen soldier. The first two times were halted by RPGs and heavy fire. The third time he attempted, he was killed by an RPG. Before his death, he had called for reinforcements. Monti's action had saved his team from the terrorists.

At his funeral, he was rewarded with a Medal of Honor, which is the highest honor of all, for his services in Afghanistan. Jared Monti was a selfless, brave, and caring soldier, sacrificing his own life to save his team and was a hero to me.

– Mingway Wang