Early Veterans Celebration

Westview Honors Veterans with Early Recognition
Posted on 11/09/2021
This is the image for the news article titled Westview Honors Veterans with Early RecognitionBy Jillian Brigance, FCCLA and Junior Class president
and Karen Campbell, WCS Communications Director

Veterans from the Air Force, Army, Army and Tennessee National Guard, Navy, and Navy Reserve joined Westview students around breakfast tables and then for a music-filled, student-led observance of Veterans Day on Tuesday.

Principal Jeromy Davidson said the early event was to ensure veterans who usually have a full day of recognition from schools throughout the county on November 11 could interact with students and enjoy the tributes planned by the student council, FCCLA and the Westview Band. Council Advisor Jennifer Wenz and Club Advisor Lauren Freeman worked with Band Director Mike Tucker and the groups to coordinate the meal and program.

Fifteen veterans - including six from Weakley County Schools faculty and staff - accepted the invitation. Upon arrival at the school, students welcomed the guests with cards and ornaments etched by student artists. Following breakfast, the veterans were met with applause as they entered the gymnasium. Music from the Westview band included patriotic tunes as well as a medley of theme songs from each branch of the military.

Gwen Jones Coleman, who followed in her father’s footsteps and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1977-81, was the featured speaker. She shared anecdotes from her time in the military police, with the canine unit, and as part of a family that boasts several other Air Force veterans including her husband. The retired school teacher and now substitute nurse for Weakley County Schools expressed gratitude for the day of recognition and to her fellow veterans.

Other Weakley County faculty and staff with military backgrounds who were present for the ceremony were SRO Jason Arant, Air Force; Ed Baker, Air Force; Beth Kempton, Army and Navy Reserve; Mike Shannon, Navy and National Guard; and David Hochreiter, Army.

Additional veterans in attendance were Mike Maloan, TN Army National Guard; Lynn Kelly, U.S. Army; Noel Arant, Army an TN National Guard, Chris Mathis, Army National Guard; Mike Davis, Navy; Bryan Caldwell, Army National Guard; Lexie Dean, Army; Sam Veer, Army; Charles Hutson, Army National Guard.

PHOTOS:
veterans who are part of the Weakley County Schools faculty and staff
Weakley County faculty and staff with military backgrounds who were present for the ceremony were SRO Jason Arant, Air Force; Ed Baker, Air Force; Gwen Jones Coleman, Air Force; Beth Kempton, Army and Navy Reserve; Mike Shannon, Navy and National Guard; and David Hochreiter, Army.

Some of the FCCLA and Student Council members who assisted with Veterans celebrationAmong the many students who assisted with welcoming veterans to the Westview campus, visiting during breakfast, and presenting portions of the program were FCCLA and Student Council members (from left to right) Zoe Hogan, Maddie Moore, Giselle Garcia, Tristen Damron, Ellie Dodson, Cara Brooke Hatler, Addison Cary, Kate Stroh, Taylor Longacre, Angelina Barr, Jillian Brigance, and Piper Johnson.

band members playingThe Westview Band performed during the celebration of veterans including playing a medley of military theme songs. As the music switched from anthem to anthem, veterans present stood to student applause. Seen here are Christopher Ostenson, Matthew Moon, and Tori Ary.

Jennifer Wenz and Lauren Freeman
Student Council Advisor Jennifer Wenz and FCCLA Advisor Lauren Freeman worked with Band Director Mike Tucker and students to coordinate the meal and program.