Connellsville Area High School Patriots program honors nation's veterans
The Connellsville Area High School Patriots, an organization started in 2003 by Linda Shearer, a high school English teacher, held a special event on Saturday to honor veterans who put their lives on the line in service of their nation.
More than 200 attended the ceremony at the Pennsylvania National Guard Readiness Center on Petersburg Road in Connellsville Township, including veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the past and present conflicts in the Middle East.
Shearer reminded those in attendance that just 1 percent of the population puts their lives on the line to protect 100 percent of the citizens.
In greeting those attending, Mark Bageant, a member of the CAHS Patriots Board of Directors, said the veterans recognition luncheon was held “to honor our veterans and to thank the many people who had a part in bringing the (4-ton piece of the World Trade Center) to Connellsville.”
Army Lt. Col. Shane Ousey, keynote speaker, told of his relationship with the CAHS Patriots, which began approximately nine years ago while he was deployed in Iraq.
Although he has no ties to the Connellsville area, Ousey said he became involved with the CAHS Patriots after finding a note with an email address. He sent off an email message and began corresponding with Shearer. At that time, he said, he had no idea where Connellsville, Pa., was located.
“And that turned out to be a nine-year connection,” Ousey said.
He praised Shearer for “the love in her heart” for him and his soldiers.
He related an experience that occurred after a midtour leave. He said he got a call from the mailroom.
“‘Sir, please come down and pick up your stuff,'” Ousey related. The person also suggested he bring a truck. He said he thought there would be a few packages.
“When I got down there, there was this huge stack, probably over 200 boxes,” he said.
As Ousey was leaving, he saw a young female soldier leaning against the wall. She appeared sad and lonely, he said.
“I grabbed one of the boxes, and I walked over to her and said, ‘Here, have a merry Christmas.' ”
He said she “grabbed that box like it was the most precious gift she'd ever gotten.”
Ousey said he even gave one of the packages to the commanding general of the multinational force, George Casey. Giggles rippled through the audience when Ousey described the Pittsburgh Steelers boxer shorts and what must have been size 14 socks the general found in his package.
Ousey then extended his “personal, heartfelt thanks” to Shearer and the members of the CAHS Patriots. He also presented Shearer with a commander's coin. He said military commanders have the coins made that they present to members of their units who do exceptional jobs.
Ousey also delivered a message from former President George W. Bush.
In the message, Bush said that throughout history, citizens from every corner of the country have proudly worn the uniform of the United States.
“In times of peace and through the hardships of war, our military have built a great tradition of courageousness and faithful service,” the statement read.
The statement ends by calling on the nation to respect that service and honor those who have faithfully served.
Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-626-3538.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pedestrian struck on East Crawford Avenue in Connellsville
- Uniontown man charged with rape
- Fayette veterans to commemorate Pearl Harbor at Uniontown VFW
- Connellsville Canteen to host lecture on American home front during WWII
- Former member takes reins of chorus
- Masontown police car vandalized
- Korean exhibit to go on display
- Uniontown Chorale Society to perform at Dawson church
- Springfield Twp. family thankful despite blaze
- Small Business Saturday events set in Connellsville
- Man shot in leg outside Uniontown apartment