Valle Honors our Veterans

vets banner
Honoring veterans has become a tradition at Valle Catholic.  Each year time is set aside to celebrate the freedoms that veterans have provided us and honor those veterans for their dedicated service in preserving that freedom.
Valle vets cafeteria wall
This year’s Veterans Day Celebration began with Mass at the Church of Ste. Genevieve on Friday, November 7, 2014.  Many veterans from American Legion Post 150, VFW Post 2210 and veterans from WWII – Afghanistan were in attendance along with the entire student body of Valle Catholic School.
Valle vets bulletin board
The celebrant, Fr. Dennis Schmidt, and Deacon John Meere were joined by veterans who filled the liturgical roles:  Servers were Bill Tlapek, Norman Stoll, and Tom Roth, all US Army.  Reader was Larry Basler, US Army. Cindy Loida, USAF read the petitions. The Color Guard from VFW Post 2210 posted and retired the colors.
Valle vets Mass from choir loft
Valle vets Mass Larry Basler
Joe Steiger, USMC and 1993 Valle graduate addressed the congregation after Communion.  He spoke of volunteerism and the importance of making a difference in the lives of those you meet.  He reminded the students how getting involved and ‘giving back’ – as evidenced by the visiting veterans – was an important component to a meaningful life.
Valle vets Mass speaker Joe Steiger
Boy Scouts, Mason Skaggs, Jack Staab, Bryce Palmer, Caleb Hoog, and Ben Bader filled the role of ushers and Cub Scouts Paul Ahrens and Kaden Gegg presented the offertory gifts.
Valle Mass Cub Scouts
At the end of Mass several veterans stepped outside and completed their 3-round volleys, firing blank cartridges into the air three times.  This practice stems from the 1600’s when soldiers would take breaks on battlefields to treat the injured and collect the dead.  The collecting side would signal to their enemies that they were done by firing a three round volley. The practice has evolved to be used as a final goodbye to fallen military members.  This was followed by a veteran playing “Taps”.
Valle vets Mass Taps
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, Scouts from Troop 404 escorted the veterans from their pews. The student body formed an “Honor Guard” from the doors of the church to the doors of the cafeteria where a reception was held for the veterans and their guests.  Students cheered as the veterans walked by. Students also handed out homemade cards and pictures and also gave ‘high-fives’ to the veterans.
Valle vets 2014 Click the link for video of Honor Guard
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Valle vets Honor Guard panorama
Valle vets Honor Guard Charlie
Valle vets Honor Guard meeting PreK
Valle Vets 2014 Kolton with Grandpa Huck
Valle vets Mr. Herbel with Kaydi, Michael, and Rachel
Valle students, Sydni Basler and Garrett MacMillan read their Voice of Democracy essays to the veterans during the reception.
Valle vets Syd (2)
Valle vets Garrett (2)
Valle Vets reception
Before and after the reception in the Valle Cafeteria, the veterans had a special treat on the Valle Desert.
Valle vets half truck with 4th Gr
Chris Kertz, local World War II collector and spouse of Valle Catholic teacher, Linda Kertz,  had a Half Track vehicle and accessories for the veterans and students to view.
This half-track was built in 1943 by the White Motor Company.  Half-tracks were used throughout WWII by all allied countries in all theaters of the war. They were used until the late 60’s by the US military and were used into the early 90’s by the Israeli military.
The half-track on display started WWII as a M3 troupe carrier and was later converted to a M16A1 with an antiaircraft Quad 50 gun mount which is how it is restored today.

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