Glenwood Springs High School inspires students while honoring veterans
Steve Beattie brought three visual aids to Glenwood Springs High School’s Veterans Day assembly Monday.
Students cheered from the gymnasium’s bleachers as the Class of 1964 graduate worked to get his red and white Glenwood Springs High School letterman jacket over his shoulders.
“Back in the day, when this thing fit me, I guarantee you I had absolutely no thought of going to war,” Beattie said. “That just wasn’t on the radar. A small-town guy in a small town in western Colorado.”
Next, Beattie put on the same U.S. Army jacket he wore in April 1971 when he departed a Trans World Airlines flight in San Francisco following his service in the Vietnam War.
“I remember where I was. I remember the pride that I felt in doing what I did,” Beattie said. “It makes me feel awfully good to be able to wear this jacket and to be a veteran.”
The final jacket Beattie wore was plaid and from the 1970s.
“You got to believe that any country that would allow you the freedom to make a fashion statement like this has some pretty great freedoms,” Beattie joked. “I got this [jacket] in the early ’70s when I got back from Vietnam. …By gosh I was back doing my life.”
At Monday’s assembly, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard veterans stood as the high school’s choir sang a medley of U.S. Armed Forces tunes.
Another one of those veterans, Dan LeVan, served eight years in the Air Force, six years in the Army National Guard and for the last 18 years has worked in the Roaring Fork School District.
“It touches me very much so,” LeVan said. “I have worked hand in hand with the Junior ROTC and am so proud of them.”
In addition to honoring veterans like Beattie and LeVan, Monday’s assembly also included drills from Glenwood Springs High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Senior Davy Stanfield Brown said her own family’s long line of veterans inspired her to join the Junior ROTC program.
“My grandfather was a colonel in the Air Force and my sister was in the Marines,” Brown said. “I want to fly fighter jets in the Navy or the Air Force.”
Cadet Major Brown said that joining the Junior ROTC program motivated her to apply to both the Air Force and Naval Academies.
“When I see all of these service members, current and past, it reminds me of just how humble and brave they are,” Brown said. “They put their lives on the line for our freedoms and I see it as one of the most honorable things you can do as a person.”
The high school program was one of several school-based Veterans Day events on Monday. Others included Glenwood Springs Middle School, Sopris Elementary School, Carbondale Middle School and multiple events in the Garfield Re-2 schools.
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The Forest Service plans to replace the Carbondale Aspen-Sopris ranger district station with a newer, larger facility.