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Veterans remind Clear Spring students why Nov. 11 is important

November 12, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

CLEAR SPRING -- Brady Haines graduated from Clear Spring High School in 1942 and served in the Army during World War II. He was wounded in France on Dec. 17, 1944, when shrapnel struck him in his right arm.

Now living in Maugansville, Haines returns to his alma mater every year for its veterans assembly.

"I love my country. I love the good service they have here," Haines said after Tuesday's assembly. He wore an American Legion hat and a flag pin on his lapel.

Haines thought Tuesday's guest speaker, Sgt. Lori Sines, was terrific.

"I think she impressed most everyone with her speech and her service," he said.

Sines served in the Army from 1987 to 1993, and shared her reasons for joining the Army -- the Navy and Air Force weren't tough enough, she said with a smile and apologies to her fellow veterans from those military branches.

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Sines shared a story from the time she was stationed in Germany, when she and her squad were on a 15-mile march, rucksacks on their back and weapons in hand. Four older German woman rushed up to them, grabbed their arms and kept repeating, "American, American," Sines said.

Sines and her fellow soldiers didn't understand the women's reaction until they realized the women would have been in their 20s during WWII, "when their country was oppressed," Sines said. To those women, American soldiers represented hope and freedom, she said.

"I've never forgotten those women and the tribute they paid to us that day," she said.

James Hutson, a Clear Spring history teacher who served in the Marines, organizes the school's assembly.

"We owe it to the kids to remind them why Nov. 11 is an important day," he said. Hutson chose his friend Sines to speak Tuesday because he "thought it would be good to see a lady's view of the military," he said.

A PowerPoint presentation created by students showed pictures of veterans from WWII to those serving now, related to Clear Spring High School students and staff. Among those shown in the presentation were George Massie, the only Clear Spring graduate killed during the Vietnam War, and Staff Sgt. Joseph C. Herbert, another Clear Spring graduate and the first man from Maryland killed in WWII.

Those currently serving weren't forgotten Tuesday.

Army Capt. Jacob Michael, a 2001 graduate of Boonsboro High School, recently completed a 15-month tour in Iraq, where he did convoy security and helped haul fuel.

"It's good to be home," said Michael, who is stationed in Germany and is the son of Washington County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Boyd Michael.

Michael spoke briefly during the assembly, thanking those veterans before him for their service.

Boyd Michael, Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan and Washington County Commissioners President John Barr also attended Tuesday's assembly.

The American flag hanging over the Clear Spring High School stage Tuesday morning during the Veterans Day assembly once was draped over the coffin of a soldier killed during the D-Day invasion.

At the end of Tuesday's assembly, veterans in the audience saluted that flag as student Lindsay Stine played taps.

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