Veterans Reflect on Service After Nonnewaug’s Ceremony


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NHS students, staff, and participants of the annual Veterans’ Day ceremony gather around to listen to the music provided by the NHS band and choir. Poems and backstories were shared as the ceremony went on.

Genieva Pawlowski and Izzy DiNunzio

WOODBURY — When you type “what is a veteran?” into the Google search bar, different meanings come up. You get “someone who served in the military” or “a person who has served.” While these are straightforward definitions, they do not grasp the true meaning of being a veteran and the experiences you can get from sitting down and talking to one.

Nonnewaug its their Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 9. NHS students and staff were encouraged to invite their family and close friends who served. NHS had many attendants, including history teacher Scott Parkhouse, who served for seven years in the Air National Guard just as his father, Roger Parkhouse, did.

The military gave me a lot of opportunities to learn, see places, and have life experiences that would help me later on,” said Scott Parkhouse, “and gave me a chance to serve the USA.”

While being in the military clearly has its benefits, such as college tuition and the pride of serving the country — and as Scott Parkhouse says, sightseeing — it also has some downsides. 

“Being away from home and your loved ones was the hardest thing,” says Roger Parkhouse.

Being a veteran means different things to each soldier. For Scott Parkhouse, “It was an honor to have a chance to serve the USA.”

“I think it matured me, and I’m glad I did it.” says Michael Jamele, a veteran who attended as a student’s guest.

For most students, Veterans’ Day is a just day they get off of school, so NHS created the ceremony to honor our veterans on a day we are in school. NHS not only holds the ceremony, but it also holds a breakfast for the family and friends of the veterans who attend.

“It is the one day out of the year where, at school anyway, we take a few minutes to honor those who gave so much for our country,” says Scott Parkhouse.

“I come here and get a free breakfast, and I met [a fellow veteran who served] between 1965-1969,” said Jamele. “We were in the same place, up in Maine in 1965.”

“To hear the stories of what people went through so that our country can be free,” Scott Parkhouse said, “it helps everyone know how important it is to remember those who stood up for freedom, so hopefully future generations will be motivated and take a stand for freedom as well.”

Read more about the value of veterans in their own words by clicking here.