Memorial Day is a national holiday set in place to celebrate the American veterans who have died in battle. History teachers at Woodland Regional wanted to take part in the celebration. On May 26, 2022, veterans from all different branches of the armed services were invited to Woodland to share their stories.
“I came here today to share my story and share the life lessons I have learned in the military,” said Perry Robinson, a retired United States Marine and Woodland alumni.
Robinson served eight years (2009 to 2017) in Afghanistan, Japan, Africa, Senegal and Morocco. He learned the privilege of American life and learned that not everything is as you expect it to be while being away, especially in third world countries.
“I am grateful to be an American citizen,” said Robinson. “I knew after 9/11 that I wanted to do what I could to help my country.”
Robinson is not the only proud American veteran at the forum. Lt. Col. Timothy Van Deventer, a present United States National Guard veteran, comes to Woodland yearly to discuss joining army branches with students. Van Deventer is the representative for the high school.
When John Samson, United States Air Force veteran, ranked E5, retired in 1978, he started a new job after leaving Sikorsky. Samson was the school Santa Claus at many elementary schools around the state, including Laurel Ledge.
Seeing familiar faces allowed students to connect with the veterans on a deeper level and truly honor and understand the meaning behind their words. Organized by Patricia Corey and Melissa Barbero, the 2022 veterans forum was a success and will hopefully continue running in the future. Students and staff are thankful for the thirteen veterans who came to share their experiences.