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Honoring Our Veterans

Each year in November, the Jr./Sr. High School invites Veterans in to speak with the students. Although Veterans could not come in person this year, that didn’t stop the program from continuing via zoom. Both remote students and in class students were able to link in, and participate intimately with various speakers about their military experiences. In Mr. Cootner’s Social Studies class, students had the privilege to listen to U.S, Army Ranger, Mr. Joe Palermo, who served in the military from 2002-2006 deploying several times to Iraq and Afghanistan. He shared both his pride and fears while serving, he explained rankings, and the meanings behind the badges and ribbons on his uniform and what they symbolize. Students had ample time to ask questions, and they were well prepared with their knowledge and curiosity. They knew the answer as to “why” we celebrate Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11th, as it was the date WWI ended. Below are a few very thoughtful questions from the students…
Thank you very much Mr. Palermo, for your service to our country!
Q. What is involved in basic training?
A. All the training and skills necessary to be a soldier, including marching drills and ceremony, radio communication, survival skills, and more.
Q. What made you want to join the Army?
A. I joined because of the 9/11 attacks on our country, to help fight terrorism.
Q. Did you ever actually fight in combat, and what types of weapons did you use?
A. Yes, I fought in battles, they were all different depending on the attack…bombs dropping, at close range or while driving vehicles. We are trained to use many types of weapons including knives, rockets, rifles, shotguns, mounted machinery on vehicles…
Q. Have you ever been injured or wounded?
A. Thankfully, no
Q. Have you ever needed to be rescued and what did that feel like?
A. Yes, on several missions, mostly by air support, and it is a great relief to be rescued and know you will live another day.
Q. Did you make close friends in the military?
A. Yes! Comradery in the military is like nothing else else you will experience unless you are in the military – we are a band of brothers and sisters for life.
Q. Were you ever scared?
A. Of course, deploying is very dangerous.
Q. During training do they really use pepper spray on you?
A. Yes, it’s similar to a pepper spray, and during training these drills help you learn how to deal with adversity.