By SHERRY DIGMON
News Staff Writer
Escambia County High School’s Triton Club, under the leadership of teacher Stephanie McGhee, honored veterans during a school-wide assembly Thursday, November 8.
The ECHS band, Hayley Canterbury director, and the ECHS Choir, Conrad Weber director, were outstanding in presenting patriotic music.
The speaker was Staff Sergeant William “Greg” Akers, a decorated veteran who served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Central American, Pakistan and Korea.
Following are excerpts from his presentation:
On patriotism – “There is nothing wrong with being proud of your country and loving your county.”
“True happiness comes when you choose the hard right over the easy wrong. Veterans make that choice on a daily basis.”
Members of the military are part of a brotherhood and sisterhood – “a bond that will never be broken.”
Men and women in the military are “sacrificing their freedom to protect yours.”
The ECHS program was held two days after mid-term elections. Akers said it was appropriate to honor veterans at this time. “Think your vote doesn’t matter? Your votes matter to me because I’ve had friends and loved ones die so you have that right.”
“The flag is a symbol of us. To disgrace it is to disgrace yourself … the U.S. is a family. Be proud of that.”
Akers urged students to get involved in community service. “You’ll never make yourself great by stomping on somebody else.”
Also attending the program were Wayne and Donna Stacey, both of whom have served in the top American Legion offices in the state. Wayne Stacey is the father of Stephanie McGhee, Triton Club sponsor.
Newly re-elected State Representative Alan Baker and Board of Education member Coleman Wallace were also on hand.