Monett High School honors area veterans
Warrior Cubs remembered during assembly
Monett High School students, staff and community recognized area veterans on Thursday with a luncheon and honors assembly, giving thanks for their military service.
Steve Snider was the guest speaker, discussed the special character trait necessary for warriors.
“It takes someone willing to sacrifice a time in their life to secure our safety,” he said.
He went on to note the last President of the United States having true military service was George H. Bush, a U.S. Naval aviator.
“A total of 26 of the past 45 presidents have had military service,” he said. “The people in Washington [D.C.] now have an avoidance of service. It’s like hiring a mechanic to work on your car that has only watched other mechanics work on cars. These people with no experience are going to tell our military what to do.”
He then spoke of local students who entered the military after high school as “Cub Warriors.”
“The first was Jake Verstraete,” he said. “During the Iraq war he got a close call. There’s healing on the outside, but inside is a different story.’
He then choked up as he recalled his neighbor and friend, Army Specialist Christopher Glenn Stark who was killed in action in COP Tangi, Afghanistan, on Feb. 28, 2011.
“Every Halloween, he was dressed as a soldier,” Snider said. “Sometimes he just dressed that way because he wanted to. He helped get the JROTC program started here inn Monett.
“I tried to talk him out of joining the military after Jake’s close call,” Snider said. “Be he said, ‘No sir. You served in your time, now it’s my turn.’”
He went on to urge students to honor the local warriors who have sacrificed much, and those who have died in service to their country.
“When you are led in the Pledge of Allegiance, stand up for those Warrior Cubs who gave their lives for this country,” he said.
In a special presentation, Kara Albertson, an attending veteran whose name was drawn from a hat, tearfully received a patriotic-themed blanket made by members of the Monett High School Crochet Club.
Snider completed the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in 1978 and commissioned 2nd Lt. in May 1979. He served four years of active duty commanded five combat platoons during two active deployments in the Western Pacific.