Take the time to talk to a veteran

Everyone should take the time to interview a veteran because every veteran, every soldier, has a story to tell, and if you listen to their stories, it might just change your life. I know for a fact it changed mine.

In October I went on a field trip to the Cole Land Transportation Museum and I got to interview a veteran. Before the trip I always thought that Veterans Day was just another day off from school or a chance to hang out with friends, but my eyes have opened to what Veterans Day is really about: the cost of freedom. Bill Dean, the veteran I interviewed, helped me see that the cost of freedom isn’t just about those who fought in battles, but about all the men and women who were willing to fight.

In addition, we had veterans come to our school and talk about their time in the service, and I interviewed family members about their service as well. I had no idea how much it would impact my views and my life. After all of this, it is hard to describe the feelings that come along with it, but I can say that it is inspiring and emotional — it really changes a person.

Hearing all of the veterans stories has made me realize how much they really did for us and what they had to sacrifice so we can live the life we do. So talk to your local veterans; I promise you will not regret it and will hold on to it for the rest of your life.

We want to invite all veterans interested to attend our assembly on Thursday, Nov. 9, at 8:35 a.m. in the Performing Arts Center located in Messalonskee High School. Light refreshments and coffee will be served in the cafeteria starting at 8 a.m. We hope you will attend so we can honor you for your efforts.

Cara Olkkola




All veterans are incredible

All veterans are incredible, especially the one I spoke to when going to the Cole Land Transportation Museum in October. Two students from my class and I interviewed an amazing Korean War veteran, John Wedin. Although he was never in combat, his stories were still extremely remarkable. Mr. Wedin spoke to us about some history of the Korean War so we could fully understand the key points. While serving, he sacrificed comfort such as being away from home and family, and losing sleep.

Mr. Wedin shared some of his most heart-wrenching memories. He said that he and his squad had to march in 110 degree weather. Then he found out it was for mental training, and not physical! Another thing he told me was that a friend of his had a heat stroke, and sadly passed away. His emotions were showing. I could see that it was traumatic, and affected him greatly. The stories he shared made me feel compassion and sadness.

At the Cole Land Transportation Museum, we not only got the chance to interview veterans but we toured the museum as well. I learned the roles people, and vehicles took during war. The field trip educated me, and put my perspective on veterans deeper into appreciation. Every single person that has served for our country is astounding, the ones who have passed away, and the ones still with us today. They are all amazing to me, because they were all willing to sacrifice their lives for others.

Samantha Cummings




Veterans sacrificed for us

Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity of interacting with and hearing the stories of several veterans. My experiences through our trip to the Cole Land Transportation Museum and listening to veterans share their stories here at school has taught me the importance of freedom and sacrifice. Veterans Day is coming up Saturday, Nov. 11, and this is the day where veterans are honored for their service and people thank them for what they’ve done for this country. When Veterans Day comes, not a lot of people thank veterans for their service. Just shaking their hand or saying, “Thank you for your service” is nothing compared to what they had to go through.

Robert Locklin was in the Vietnam War and he received a silver star for something incredible that he did. He and his buddies were in the jungle, they were running out of ammo and were getting shot at by .50-caliber rifles. So Robert ran over all the stumps and obstacles in the jungle. When he got to the .50-calibers, the enemies were trying to shoot him but one by one he took out the machine gunners. The fact that he put his life in danger to do that is amazing and that proves that he is not selfish. Robert Locklin is a true hero and I’d like to thank him for his service and everything he did for our country.

Cameron Patrie



Veterans should be respected

Veterans worldwide should be respected. Veterans in the past and today are treated less than what they deserve. I believe that our veterans deserve to be treated kindly and thanked for the service that they have done. They signed a blank check to our country and were willing to risk their lives. They protected and fought for our freedom even though not everyone wanted them too.

I am very thankful for their service and for the services that are now given to them today like housing and food. Though others may say that veterans are treated well and are respected enough, I wonder if there is more we can do.

Some veterans were not treated well after their service, such as veterans from the Vietnam War. Those veterans were treated poorly and called unimaginable and vile names like “warmonger” and “baby killer” instead of a warm welcome home like others before them received.

I had a chance to meet veterans from the Vietnam War and other wars as well. Their stories really affected me and are one of the many reasons why I think veterans should be respected. They protected us, our country, and our freedoms. They deserve to be respected, and one way that we can do this is by respecting what they stand for. Our team field trip and our veteran panel day greatly helped me to better understand their experiences and what they did for us.

Thank you to all of our veterans. You don’t receive the amount of respect you rightly deserve. I believe everyone should respect veterans, regardless of individual opinions. They signed a blank check to our country and risked their lives.

Syleena Milligan



Please thank all veterans

All veterans should be respected. I learned this at the Cole Land Transportation Museum. The veteran I interviewed, Marty Bell, taught me this. He knew that some veterans had been disrespected and not thanked for what they had done.

Mr. Bell knew this because he is a Vietnam War veteran. When he came home from Vietnam people were not very nice to him. He said that when he was walking through the airport people were calling him names, swearing at him, and spitting on him. Many people called him a murderer. He couldn’t even wear his uniform out in public because people would have been mean to him.

I think that all veterans should be respected. Some veterans weren’t on the battlefield. Some veterans were nurses or they loaded up the planes with supplies. Even if they were not all on the battlefield we should be thankful for what they have done.

Veterans should be thanked when they go out in public with their uniforms on. They should feel that they won’t be made fun of because they were in the Vietnam War. They should feel safe when they talk to someone about the war they were in. I think that all veterans should be thanked and that people should recognize them and the service that they have provided our country with.

Natalie Tracy




Correct mistakes toward veterans

We need to learn about and idolize our veterans. As American citizens we need to speak to our veterans about what they did to serve our country. Also, we should idolize our vets because without them we would not be here today.

Veterans have been through a lot and have great firsthand stories about the war they fought in. Now these veterans are fading without telling their history. By listening to our vets we can help them recover from PTSD, which is crucial for them so they can have a better quality of life.

Additionally, by asking them to share we get to learn about the war they fought in and what it is like to serve our country.

Veterans sacrificed their freedom and life for us. By idolizing our vets like celebrities it will make them feel important because they are important. When Vietnam veterans came home they were called “baby killers.” They were cursed at and were spat on. They were driven out of society because people did not check their facts and our troops did what they were told do.


Learning and idolizing our veterans will benefit everyone and will teach people that we are not perfect but we correct our mistakes.

Michael D’Amico



Veterans aren’t appreciated enough

Veterans are incredible people. When most people want to learn about a war such as the Korean War they watch movies or read books. But what my school did was more special and valuable — I interviewed Mr. Herb Colson at the Cole Land Transportation Museum.

Veterans aren’t appreciated for what they do. Some are living on the streets. I think that is disrespectful for them to be living without the rights they fought for. The veterans in my town are respectful, kind, and caring people.


Veterans are selfless people because they entered the service to serve their country. When veterans enter the service they could lose a limb, or worse, their lives. When veterans come back from serving they could have PTSD, which is a mental illness where someone will be frightful of loud sounds, flashing lights and things related to that.

Emelie Hodgkins



Never too late to honor veterans

On Oct. 4, I had the opportunity to go to the Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor and interview Mr. John Wedin, a Korean War veteran. Veterans from that generation didn’t get the “welcome home” they deserved. I’m here to argue about needing to respect our United States veterans.

Veterans today struggle with PTSD and other anxiety disorders from bad memories of the war. When they returned home after the war, people treated veterans terribly and were called things like “baby killers” and that they were ashamed of them. It isn’t too late to walk up to a veteran that you see and say thank you for your service.


If you would want to attend our Veterans Day Assembly you can join us at the Performing Arts Center at the Messalonskee High School in Oakland. My generation needs to step up and take a stand for veterans. We are the last generation to see and interview World War II veterans. Hopefully we will see you at the assembly and I hope you’ll respect veterans more after reading this.

Avery Faircloth



Veterans put their lives on the line

Veterans put their lives on the line for our freedom and they don’t get honored enough. They have to leave their family to fight, which means they miss their families birthdays and they don’t get to spend holidays with their families.

When the Vietnam veterans returned, they were hated. People threw stuff at them, spit at them, and called them, “baby killers.”


Veterans aren’t honored enough and they need to be whenever they can be because they don’t have as much time as we do left. If they aren’t honored one day, they could be gone and they could never be honored.

We need to thank them for their sacrifice because they are the reason why we can do the things we are doing right now. We are lucky to even meet or see any veterans.

Wesley Flood


Stand for anthem to honor veterans

I believe that it is very disrespectful to take a knee during the national anthem. I think that people should stand for the national anthem because it would be more respectful. People have the right to kneel if they would like because it is their constitutional right, but I believe that you should stand. All veterans were willing to risk their lives for us some did so that we could have freedom.

We should all come together at least in honoring them by showing respect for the symbols of our country: the flag and our national anthem. It breaks my heart when I hear or see a veteran getting disrespected by kneeling. I interviewed a Vietnam veteran, Marty Bell, at the Cole Land Transportation Museum, and he said that football players make more money then he ever will in his life so they have many other opportunities to protest. Let’s all honor our veterans by standing every time we hear our national anthem.


Addyson Greenlaw


All veterans deserve our respect

Vietnam veterans never got the recognition that they deserve. Our team at Messalonskee Middle School went to the Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor to interview veterans. I learned through interviewing Mr. Don Dyer, a Vietnam veteran, that many veterans coming home weren’t treated they way they should have been. He told me that people would call him a “baby killer,” and throw eggs and tomatoes at them and the vehicles that transported them. On top of that, they were told not to wear their uniforms. They were not honored or able to feel proud of their service.

In contrast, our team invited a World War II veteran, Wally LaFountain, to come to school and speak to us about his experiences. He told us when he came home there were crowds of people welcoming him back and saying things like, “Our country is proud of you,” and “Thank you for your service.” They had parades and celebrated that he came home safely.

It isn’t fair that one group of veterans should be honored and another group not. All veterans then and now signed a blank check and were willing to sacrifice their lives, so all veterans should be recognized and honored.

Messalonskee Middle School are welcoming and honoring all veterans at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Performing Art Center at the Messalonskee High School.


Joe Ardito



Veterans had tough experiences

Many veterans have gone through some tough experiences serving our country. I learned about some of these experiences on Oct. 4, when I got a chance to go to the Cole Land Transportation Museum to interview Herb Colson, a Korean War veteran.

Herb Colson dad some tough experiences serving our country. He told my group and I that he almost died in a plane crash when he was on his way to go prepare for combat. He also struggled with not being able to talk to his parents or receive letters.

All veterans were willing to die for our country and all veterans had to sacrifice something in order to keep our country safe and free. I want to say thank you to all veterans — thank you for your service.


Rileigh French


Take time to appreciate veterans

Veterans deserve more respect for the amazing and courageous things that they have had to do. Recently, people have been kneeling during the national anthem, and it’s not respectful towards the veterans who have fought for the right to be able to raise our flag and be proud. We should all stand for the national anthem because it is very disrespectful towards them if we kneel.

The veterans of our country should be more appreciated for all that they have done. They have done so much for our country and deserve more credit. The reason that I can go to school, and choose if I want to believe in a religion or not, is because of these veterans.

I got the chance to interview a veteran at the Cole Land Transportation museum and hear amazing stories. The things these veterans have had to see and do for our freedom is really important, and we should have a lot of appreciation and respect towards them.

Ariana Dutil



Give veterans the thanks they deserve

Many U.S. veterans did not get the thanks they deserve for their heroic deeds. I know this because my grandfather, Brian Sullivan, is a Vietnam veteran. When they came home they were called “baby killers,” their ships had eggs thrown at them, and they got chased out of the airports by the police. They were also not allowed to wear their uniforms in public. It was truly awful how they were treated after the war. They were all willing to sacrifice their lives for us and our country. Also, they left their families, friends, and homes to fight for our country’s freedom.

They gave us our freedom and rights. They did what everyone else was afraid to do. They put their lives on the line and sacrificed their own comforts and freedoms for us and our country. They should be recognized.

Our veterans stood through sun and rain, good and bad, and life and death. That is why we honor them with a flag hanging high above the school, and a hand on our heart.

As Mr. Cole from Cole Land Transportation Museum said, “You can be one year early but not a second late” when using every chance to show your appreciation and respect to those who wrote a blank check to America for protecting our rights and freedoms.

Ellie Marden




Ask a veteran about their lives

I’ve watched history videos and I’ve read books about war. Neither of these experiences can come close to what I learned by interviewing a veteran.

Every single veteran has their own unique tale to tell that no one else can tell. So the next time you see a veteran walking down the street with their hat on, walk up to them and thank them for the sacrifice they made for their country. They have done something that required courage, and have seen untellable amounts of horror.

When I went to the Cole Land Transportation Museum, I had the honor of interviewing a Vietnam War Navy veteran named Tom Kelly. Tom was a really nice guy. When we talked to him he had loads of funny stories, and he always had a smile on his face. He told us that he went into destroyers and served for 30 years, and even became captain of his ship. One funny tale he told us about was the first time he used a machine gun it flew straight up and might have shot a pigeon.

When he came home he had rotten eggs thrown at his ship because he served in Vietnam.


Tom Kelly is just one of the many veterans I have had the opportunity to meet with in the past few weeks. My interactions with these brave individuals will stay with me forever. I will be able to pass these stories onto my children and keep their legacies alive.

Garrett Bernier



Show veterans that we truly care

Veterans Day to me is one of the most important holidays of the year because of how we honor our veterans on this special day. It is very important that we always remember to honor our veterans, as they have sacrificed so much to protect us from enemies overseas.

Some veterans go without seeing their families for up to 12 months as they serve overseas. They literally make bets with their lives as they enter battle and are fired upon and as they fire upon enemies.


We need to honor them with all that we can, and when we don’t we get what happened at the end of the Vietnam War. Following the Vietnam War, people were abusing all the veterans and disrespected them every chance they had. They would literally throw things at the returning soldiers and many were pushed into suicide by rampaging protests. Still, every day, 22 veterans take their own lives.

We can stop this. This Veterans Day, I want everyone to go up to a veteran and shake their hand and tell them that you are thankful we have been gifted with their lives.

Brayden Perkins



Let veterans share their stories

Not all veterans have had the chance to tell their stories. They were willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedom. We should all go and interview veterans to find out about their experiences in war.


Mr. Cole, a World War II veteran and owner of the Cole Land Transportation Museum, said, “We can be one year early interviewing a veteran, but not one second late.” About 372 veterans die daily. They are a piece of living, breathing, history and we shouldn’t let the opportunity to hear their stories fade away.

The Vietnam veterans especially need to tell their stories, because they were definitely not treated the way that they should be when they got home. They were spit on, had rotten eggs and tomatoes thrown at them, and they were called awful things like “baby killers.”

We need to give the Vietnam Veterans that are still alive the respect and good treatment that they deserved back when they returned home. They did not kill people by choice; they were just simply doing their jobs and serving their country.

Veterans definitely need better treatment and respect. Let’s be the generation to give them that good treatment of letting them share their stories before they pass away.

Daniel Parent




Veterans wrote a blank check to US

People should stand for the national anthem. It’s only right to show respect for the men and women that served for your freedom and this beautiful country. People have every right to kneel but it is completely disrespectful towards both living veterans and veterans that have died in war.

I have met and witnessed countless veterans showing respect towards the flag and their country. Ninety-year-old men stand up, take their hat off, and put their hand on their heart when it plays.

I have interviewed two veterans in two years, and listened to maybe a dozen of them tell their stories, which was an unforgettable experience. It was amazing because these veterans have things to tell you that you have never heard of. Few have seen that type of destruction and therefore they are a goldmine of information.

Some people don’t understand what they have gone through for us to even have the freedom to be able to kneel for the national anthem. They all wrote a blank check, up to their lives, for the country to live in freedom. If you have never talked to a veteran and heard of the sacrifices they made, please don’t practice your opinion.

Josie Russell




Listen to veterans while you still can

The need to honor veterans is more important than ever before because World War II veterans are dying out. These living pieces of history will not be around to share their stories much longer. Sending them to places like Washington, D.C., writing letters, and holding assemblies are all important ways to show them our appreciation.

In the past, some veterans were mistreated or ignored. When veterans came home from Vietnam, they were called names like “murderer” and very inappropriate names for all that they had done for us. I really feel that people should show more gratitude for what the veterans did so we could be free.

My generation is the last generation that gets to meet World War II veterans because 372 veterans from World War II are dying every day. If we don’t tell them that we appreciate that they did something for me and you and everybody in America, they won’t know that they were appreciated. Imagine if you were in a field and there were bullets flying from one side to another and fire and the sky was black during the middle of the day. Veterans gave up time and saw these horrible things for American’s freedom.

Audrey Tracy


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