Monett High School honors area veterans

Saturday, November 13, 2021
Members of the Monett High School JROTC program, Jersey Van Derhoef and JoLee Graham, demonstrated the 13 Folds of the American Flag, presented to service members’ survivors, along with the thanks of the deceased’s branch of service and a grateful nation. Melonie Roberts/

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.

Monett JROTC Cadet JoLee Graham stands near the POW/MIA table at a luncheon to honor area veterans for their service during ceremonies held Thursday at Scott Regional Technology Center in Monett. The table represents the missing soldier who cannot take part in the day’s remembrance. Melonie Roberts/

“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.”

Area veterans were served a meal prepared by the Scott Regional Technology Center’s culinary arts class during Veterans Day honors on Thursday. Melonie Roberts/

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.

Members of the Monett High School Choir, under the direction of Rachel Murad, performed a number of patriotic selections during the Veterans Day assembly, held Thursday at Monett High School. Melonie Roberts/

“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.

Walker Bradow, JROTC cadet, places the Army flag in its holder during Veterans Day ceremonies, held Thursday at Monett High School. Melonie Roberts/

“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.

Area veterans were guests of honor at the Monett High School Veterans Day assembly, held Thursday at the high school. Veterans were treated to lunch, prepared by Scott Regional Technology Center culinary arts students prior to the assembly. Melonie Roberts/
Special guest speaker, Steve Snider, spoke of his Cub Warriors who entered the military following high school, choking up when he recalled his neighbor and friend, Army Specialist Christopher Glenn Stark who was killed in action in COP Tangi, Afghanistan, on Feb. 28, 2011. Melonie Roberts/
Monett High School Crochet club members presented Kara Albertson, a veteran, a patriotic-themed blanket in thanks for her service to her country and community. Melonie Roberts/
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