Written by Sydney Snyder

Photography by Sydney Carlsgaard

The Veterans Day Program is a monumental event for Center Grove High School.  The teachers who organized the program, the students, the veterans and the speakers made the Veterans Day Program a success.

“The teachers involved met once a week starting in the middle of September until November 8th every morning before school,” social studies teacher Brad Timmons said.

Each morning the social studies teachers made pamphlets, decided the seating arrangements, created the schedule for the program and designed the PowerPoint presentation. The teachers also invited a set of speakers to deliver stories about their experiences in the military to the students of Center Grove.

“I was responsible for contacting Mr. Burris and Chief Clift,” Timmons said.

A Center Grove Student listens attentively to a veteran guest speaker during the Veterans Day Program last Friday
A Center Grove Student listens attentively to guest speaker and 2003 Center Grove graduate, Sgt. Evan Hutson during the Veterans Day Program last Friday

Eric Burris, when he entered the service, was one of the youngest people legally in the military.  Burris joined the Navy, completed sniper school, served for 16 years in the military and was on a search and rescue team. Chief Clift served for 22 years as a Navy SEAL and subsequently took a leadership position in the Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Command. He presently serves as a teacher within the sniper school at Camp Atterbury.

“It is always nice when you meet veterans and see them reach out to the kids,” Timmons said.

Timmons enjoys meeting veterans that are related to or are friends of his students. Students and faculty get to listen to the inspiring and insightful stories of veterans as well as those of former Center Grove students. John Frank, the previous organizer of the Veterans Day Program, retired after the last school year and left this event in the hands of his colleagues.

“We missed Mr. Frank’s insight,” Timmons said.

Even though Frank was not part of this year’s program, the teachers still had access to his resources. The social studies teachers contacted Frank a couple of times for advice while preparing for the occasion.  Although Frank was not in charge of the program due to his retirement, the teachers in charge of the program have helped with the Veterans Day Program in previous years.  

Despite the absence of a major figure in past years’ Veterans Day Programs, the social studies department put in enough hard work to organize a program equally as impressive as those in previous years.