Delano Honored Veterans on Nov. 10

Posted on: Nov 10, 2023

On Nov. 1o, Delano Elementary, Delano Intermediate and Delano High School took time to celebrate, recognize and honor Veterans. The programs at DIS and DHS can be viewed on the district's YouTube channel 

Several third-grade classes at the elementary school serenaded residents at the Delano Legacy and the Delano Estates. Students performed patriotic songs while residents smiled and sang along. Students also showed residents their artwork and the meaning behind their pictures. In the classroom, kindergartners in Ms. Leaman’s class thanked Veterans with cards and pictures they created. All grades at the elementary school participated in the district's Veteran clothing and household item drive. 


Students at the intermediate school welcomed Veterans Day learning about the flag and hearing presentations from students and guests. Lloyd Griep, a Color Guard at the American Legion Post 377, opened the program. Lloyd is the father-in-law of Cay Griep, a 4th grade teacher at DIS. During the program, Lloyds granddaughter (Cay’s niece) Naomi Tasche read an essay that Cay’s daughter wrote for an essay contest when she was at the high school in 2015. Sixth-grade students Naomi Tasche and Owen Palmlund read the essay, “What the National Anthem Means to Me,” written by Megan Griep (2016 graduate of Delano High School). Henry Koob and Kinslee Gross recited the poem “I Am The Flag,” author unknown. 


After the first two groups of student speakers, the Color Guard performed a flag dedication and presented it to intermediate school Principal Katie Thompson. While members of the Color Guard folded the flag, students learned the meaning of each fold. The last set of student speakers were sixth-grade students, Mila Green and Lauren Krysan. Mila and Lauren read an essay by Brett Norling titled “A Pledge, A Promise.” Students at the intermediate school also collected donated clothing items Veterans and candy for military troops. 


Lastly, Army National Guard and Delano parent Mitch Becker spoke to students about why he joined the military and what serving his country means to him. Becker, who served for 10 years and was deployed to Bosnia and Iraq, told students he joined the military when he was 17 years old to help pay for college and because he wanted to be challenged with the adventures the military provided. He spoke about teamwork, respect and perseverance, and about fighting for his country.   


The high school welcomed Veterans and their families, parents of Veterans, high school students, staff, and the community, to its Veteran’s Day Program. Paul Hoiland, Commander of the Delano Legion Post 377, and members of the Color Guard opened the program with a flag ceremony. Students remained standing and silent while a flag was placed on a chair to recognize and remember all Prisoners of War and individuals Missing In Action. 


Senior Leigh Anderson, winner of the American Legion Post 377 sponsors a Scholarship Essay Contest, read her scholarship award-winning essay about what thank you for your service means to her. After hearing from Anderson, high school principal Barry Voight recognized two alumni whose names and photos will be added to the service wall: 2023 Graduate Chase Christenson has recently graduated Air Force training and is continuing training at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas to become a special operations aircraft technician. And 2023 graduate Andrew Ihde who recently graduated fr   basic training with the US Air Force and is now training at Sheppard Air Force Base to be a munitions systems specialist.


Command Sergeant Major and Delano parent, Judson Meyer was the honored guest at the program. Meyer is a local resident and business owner. After serving for 26 years in the Army and Guard, he retired as the Command Sergeant Major of the 1-194 Combined Arms Battalion. He served in multiple deployments including Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. He earned numerous awards for his service including a Meritorious Service Medal, two bronze stars, and an Army Commendation medal. 


Meyer spoke about combat and those who did not come home. He reminded students that freedom did not come from lawmakers and politicians but it came to them because of soldiers who for freedom. He ended his speech with heartfelt messages of integrity, honor, respect, personal courage and always remembering those people who serve or have served our country. Before leaving the podium he asked students to look into the eyes of the next soldier they see, smile, reach out to them and to thank them for what they have done.


Before being dismissed students stood while a student played Taps and the Color Guard retired the flags.