CCHS thanks veterans for service

Published 1:47 pm Friday, November 10, 2017

It is important for future generations to remember the sacrifice made by past generations, especially from those in the armed forces.

That was one of the messages Jerry Grooms shared with students at CCHS as guest speaker during the school’s Veterans Day assembly.

Grooms spent 13 months overseas in the air force during the Vietnam War.

He asked if students that have or have had a family member serve in the military to stand up.

The majority of the auditorium stood up to receive an applause, which showed the number of people that have been affected in some way or another by a loved one’s service.

“Appreciate what you’ve got,” Grooms said. “I’m extremely proud of my country, the flag and what it represents.”

He discussed his time at boot camp and how the difficult situation helped make him the person that he is today.

According to Grooms, it taught him how to put others first and made him realize that he was part of a bigger picture.

“You become a team member when you’re in the military,” Grooms said. “That’s what matters to me.”

One of his drill instructors always said that “winners don’t always win,” and it was a phrase that has stuck with him ever since those early days in the military.

Grooms spoke about how the United States has not won every battle it has been involved in. He himself has even been part of a retreat scenario in the past.

He encouraged the students in attendance to make sure they visit Arlington National Cemetery and the monuments in Washington D.C. one day. Grooms lost 10 of his best friends in Vietnam.

“They tell the story of those who served,” Grooms said. “Freedom is not, has not and never will be free.”

CCHS president Allie Lightsey made the opening remarks and kicked things off by asking veterans that were present to stand and be honored.

Grooms was introduced by his granddaughter Hannah Wilson, while Tilby Miller led the Pledge of Allegiance and the Historical Society Ensemble sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

CCHS student Raidon Landquist played taps on the trumpet to wrap up the assembly.

Veterans Day is officially Nov. 11.

“If you see a veteran, thank him or her for their service,” Grooms said.