United States is the ‘land of the free because of the brave’

Many Tonasket veterans were present at the high school Veterans Day Assembly on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Shown here are Dale White, Tony Smith, Chuck Gavin, Karen Schimpf, Jack Lorz, Jim Pruitt, Ted Vasilieff, Wally Moore, Shirley Schaub, Bill Taylor, Lloyd Kenn

Many Tonasket veterans were present at the high school Veterans Day Assembly on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Shown here are Dale White, Tony Smith, Chuck Gavin, Karen Schimpf, Jack Lorz, Jim Pruitt, Ted Vasilieff, Wally Moore, Shirley Schaub, Bill Taylor, Lloyd Kenn

TONASKET – The Tonasket High School Veterans’ Assembly on Tuesday, Nov. 10 honored past and current veterans for making the United States the ‘land of the free because of the brave.’

The assembly featured musical performances by Michelle Timmerman on the piano and Jessica Rhoads singing “A Single Point of Light” as well as the THS choir singing “America the Beautiful” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and a performance by the THS Drumline.

Before the assembly, a poem contest was held and the winning poems were read during the assembly. The winners were Lee Leavell, whose poem was read by Ashlyn Salzman, Charity Blaney, Dakota Fry and Rebecca Shaub.

In the weeks before the assembly, a coin drive was held to raise money for the United States Armed Forces Legacy Project. The junior class won the coin drive and the class officers presented the check of $566.91 to the legacy project. Karen Schimpf, Roger Castelda, Dale White and Michael Stewart accepted the check. Stewart then read an e-mail from 1992 Tonasket graduate Todd Gilchrist about his experiences as a Marine.

Gilchrist joined the Marines as a way to support his family. He has done two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan on the Explosive Orders Disposal, which is basically the bomb squad for the Marine Corp.

“No matter what service one serves, we have to take care of each other,” Gilchrist wrote. “When facing a common enemy, we band together like brothers.”

Stewart said that we must honor the men and women in service, but not forget the families before he read a prayer for veterans.

The assembly ended with a reading of “Freedom Isn’t Free” by Cadet Major Kelly Strong USAF JROTC by the THS ASB officers before the colors were retired by the US Army Color Guard.

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