photo by Jan Willem van Hofwegen / Shutterstock
Veteran’s Day is an important holiday to commemorate those who’ve served in the army. To celebrate the holiday, a number of around 8 veterans came to our school to recall their service in all branches of the military through wars like the Vietnam War, the Korean War and even War World II.
A veteran named Bill Mirick served as a part of the Underwater Demolition team, a branch in the Korean War whose main goal was to destroy bridges and rivers to prevent transportation in Korea. Bill’s focus was on the mud-banks of Pyongyang and was a part of one of the most successful water-to-land invasions at Inchon, called by some historians as a tactical jewel.
Bill talked about some of the tools that his team used in Korea, the most useful being a knife. He went on to talk about the process of destroying objectives in Korea, having to wake up at 2 or 3AM in order to be unsuspected, and then using C3, which is toxic and can cause problems in the hands, to blow up bridges within 30 seconds and 2-3 miles of the bridge. Bill did not come out unscathed though, at one point his knee and ankle caught shrapnel and he was injured.
Another veteran that came to our school is named Bill Morse, an intel officer in the Vietnam War. Mr. Morse talked about how as people we will be tested whether it be physical, mental or most times emotional. He talked about how as a child he went to his friend's house and saw war memorabilia, causing him to want to become a “tough guy” and stand up for what’s right, leading him to the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade was as Mr Morse put it, an elite team full of tough guys, where he learned he wasn’t as tough as he wanted to be. Mr. Morse spent his time getting intelligence reports from the battlefield and getting data while soldiers were on the battlefield, meaning that not all the data would be immediately accurate. After compiling intelligence he would debrief it to the general, and then he would do it again every day.
Over 600 students attended the veteran meeting, which is important to show the veterans we appreciate them for keeping our country safe. Along with appreciating their service, their experiences will not be lost forever to time as they pass at least a little but of the past onto the WKHS students, so we can know what it was like to live in a different time from 2019.