On Friday, Miami Trace High School held its annual Veterans Day program for local veterans. Veterans were first served a free breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. in the cafeteria.
The Veterans Day program began at 8:30 a.m. in the Quali-Tee Design Performing Arts Center where veterans were joined by the student body of MTHS.
Those in attendance were led in the Pledge of Allegiance by a MTHS student and then listened to a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” played by the MTHS concert band.
A select group of students shared some history and information about Veterans Day prior to the introduction of the Americanism Test winners. According to representatives, the goal of this test is to inspire young people to learn more about government, the United States and to appreciate the freedoms enjoyed by American citizens.
Ed Helt then spoke about the Americanism Test.
“The Americanism government test program consists of a 50-question test developed by American Legion personnel at the state level based on the United States and Ohio flag, United States Constitution, the American Declaration of Independence, and all branches of government, including federal, county, city, and even school board government.”
Helt then announced the six school winners from MTHS: Vivienne Jacobson, Wyatt Hicks, Emily Turner, Blake Steele, Emmarson Trimble, and Joseph Thompson.
Three of them were also county winners that will go on to district judging. Those students were Emily Turner, Emmarson Trimble, and Joseph Thompson. Thompson was also recognized for having the highest score in Fayette County on the Americanism Test this year.
Miami Trace honored a special veteran following the announcement of the winners, Jack Anders.
Anders was born on Dec. 6, 1940 in Washington Court House. He played football and baseball growing up. After graduating high school, he worked in Fayette County doing construction work where the focus was on building schools. Anders later joined the United States Marine Corps, where he served in Vietnam for 13 months and seven days.
During boot camp, Anders earned an expert rifle badge for scoring in the highest range of his shooting test. To recognize him for his valiant service, he was awarded a Vietnam campaign medal. This medal is awarded to members of the armed forces who served for at least six months in Vietnam during the period of March 1, 1961, to March 28, 1973.
He also received the National Service Defense medal which was given to members of the US Armed Forces who had served during the Korean War or the Vietnam War. He was also awarded a Vietnam Service medal for engaging in combat in Vietnam. Finally, Anders was honored with a purple heart as a result of being wounded in combat.
Anders has one son, also named Jack, and three grandchildren, named B.J., Luke, and Hannah.
MTHS principal Bryan Sheets spoke to the audience in closing.
“Thanks to all the veterans and families. You’ve endured a lot over the years. We appreciate everything you have done for our country to give us this freedom,” he said. “You gave us this chance to be in such a wonderful facility with great education. It’s for men and women like you that we get this opportunity, and we truly appreciate it.”