Veteran: Those who serve in armed forces essentially sign over their lives

November 12, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Corey Spoonhour talks to students Monday during a Veterans Day presentation at Greencastle-Antrim High School in Greencastle, Pa.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Patriotic music filled the Greencastle-Antrim High School auditorium Monday morning as students filed in for an assembly honoring the nation’s military service members.

Pictures of local veterans appeared on a screen as students took their seats for the program that featured remarks from guest speaker Lt. Col. Corey Spoonhour.

Spoonhour, a 1997 graduate of Chambersburg (Pa.) Area Senior High School, enrolled in the Army ROTC at Penn State Mont Alto, studied electrical engineering and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.

He has worked on intelligence and weapons systems. Spoonhour, who retired from the Air Force on Aug. 31, now works at the Pentagon.

He and his wife, Jennifer, have two sons and live in Greencastle.

“Veterans Day is about honoring veterans and people who serve,” Spoonhour said at the beginning of his remarks.

He told the students that in a world of cellphones, electronic devices and other distractions, they should still consider that their basic freedoms were secured by the armed forces. He said each service member essentially signs a check signing over his or her life.

“They’re willing to pay up to and including their life,” he said.

Not every service member fights in a war zone, but many provide support services, Spoonhour said.

“What we’re honoring today are the folks who support those activities, serve in those activities and are willing to sign that blank check,” he said.

Aaron Tresler, a senior, said he is considering joining the military, like many of his family members.

“Our military has been such a huge part of our nation’s history. ... Our veterans have been so underappreciated in the past,” Aaron said.

Eleventh-grader Joanna Scott helped emcee the school assembly.

“It’s definitely important to remember our veterans. It is because of them we have the freedoms we do,” she said afterward.

The school choir performed a song, “Hero’s Pledge,” written for Master Sgt. Benjamin F. Bitner, a former Greencastle resident killed in Afghanistan last year.

Donations totaling $2,000 for the U.S. Holocaust Museum and Wounded Warriors Project also were announced. The money was generated by sales of the school’s movie, “The Glorious and the Brave,” and its companion book.

Veterans presented the colors during the assembly.

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