“Day of honor, day to honor” were the words spoken by Lieutenant Colonel Todd S. Waldvogel at Hollenbeck Middle School’s Annual Veteran’s Day Recognition Program Friday, November 11, 2011. Students and staff gathered to pay tribute to active, deployed, deceased, and retired veterans who have made major contributions in defending our great nation.
At the onset of the program, Boy Scout of America members from Troop 72, Ryan Bess, Ricky Gorzel, Chris St. Aubin; Troop 956, Elijah Kelly and Troop 997, Alex Boiles led the presentation of colors while Hollenbeck Principal, Woody Borgschulte led the audience in the United States Pledge of Allegiance. Following the pledge The Star Spangled Banner was sang by the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade choirs and the American Heroes March was played by the 7th and 8th grade band.
Guest speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Todd S. Waldvogel spoke to students about sacrifice and the price veterans made that paved the way to ultimate freedom as well as the importance of serving our country.
Lieutenant Colonel Waldvogel serves as Deputy Commander of the 375th Mission Support Group at Scott Air Force Base. Having received his commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1992, his service has spanned the spectrum of Civil Engineering responsibilities at all levels. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as Commander of the 506th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraq.
Lieutenant Colonel Waldvogel has a Masters of Engineering degree from Texas A&M. Lieutenant Colonel Waldvogel has also served at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs as Assistant Professor, Ramstein Air Base in Germany, Air Force Headquarters at The Pentagon in Washington, D.C., South Carolina, Kansas and California prior to Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.
After Lieutenant Colonel Waldvogel’s speech students in the Hollenbeck Middle School Thespian Troupe performed skit of Kim Sulzner’s Thank You to the Veterans.
Following the skit, Major Roderick F. Laughman, current U.S. History Teacher at Hollenbeck who was deployed in Afghanistan last year, presented Hollenbeck with a U.S. flag that was flown over Afghanistan during his deployment. Major Laughman, who has been teaching for 19 years, says that being a veteran is about being a part of individuals who have sacrificed for our country.
“Part of being a veteran is being a part of the long line; not the beginning and not the end,” said Major Laughman. “It’s about the service to our nation, honoring those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to our country.”