Montesano Junio/Senior High School honored local veterans on Nov. 9 through the school’s annual Veterans Day assembly and breakfast event.
Assistant principal and ASB adviser Anne Ekerson told the The Vidette that the day’s breakfast component, which is catered by students, gives veterans an opportunity to relax and catchup with one another prior to the assembly.
“The breakfast piece is nice because they get to converse and have that social hour before the assembly. The veterans get to talk. The students get to talk to the veterans, so it makes for a really nice intimate conversation before we have the full school assembly,” she said.
Veterans in attendance are typically from Montesano or the broader Grays Harbor area, though students are free to invite out-of-area veteran grandparents, Ekerson added.
Montesano’s Roger Brumfield, a Navy pilot and Vietnam veteran whose children and grandchildren graduated from Montesano, said he’s attended the assembly and breakfast at least a couple of times in previous years.
“It’s just a great little town to live in. I’m proud of our school and the way they honor our veterans,” Brumfield said of the Montesano community.
By contrast, Glen Sayles, who retired from the Air Force in 1977 after a 20-year career, moving to Montesano from Everett about 11 years ago, said it was his first time in attendance as he was previously unaware of the event.
“I think it’s wonderful that the school does this. The kids are just great. They welcome you. It’s really a nice breakfast,” Sayles stated.
“It’s a really good occasion for the veterans,” echoed Deane Leetham, also of Montesano. Leetham described himself as a Korean War-era Army veteran who was fortunate enough to miss the bulk of that conflict.
“I landed in Korea after the war was over, so I was pretty lucky about that,” he explained.
Leetham, who said he had attended the event for the last four or five years, indicated he thought this year’s crowd was larger than usual.
“The high school does a really good job of putting this on,” he concluded.
Keynote speaker for the assembly was former Marine and 2008 Elma High School graduate Cody Sisco. He focused on the virtues of sacrifice, both in military service and in everyday life, during his talk. Attendees also enjoyed performances by the high school’s band and choir.