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School and community join to honor veterans at ISD 166

Students and staff at Cook County School District 166 came together to host a Veterans Day program on Monday, November 11. The school once again partnered with American Legion Post 413 to open the program with the Post 413 Honor Guard posting the flags.

After the flags were posted, the Cook County Middle School/High School Choir, under the direction of Cindy Johnson, sang the Star-Spangled Banner. Senior band member Adam Dorr led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ISD 166 Principal Megan Myers and Assistant Principal Mitch Dorr welcomed everyone and the choir sang another song, Proud of Our Veterans, adding sign language to their presentation.

The Cook County High School/Middle School Band, under the direction of Mikkel Haas, performed the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Hovland resident, Staff Sergeant Theodore Rex, retired, took part as the guest speaker, sharing his thoughts on the day. SSG Rex spoke about the diversity of the modern Armed Forces, in ethnicity and religious backgrounds. He noted that those differences mean nothing to the men and women who have made the commitment to serve the United States, in peacetime or war.

SSG Rex spoke briefly about the challenges he faced in deployment and injury, stressing that he is not unique amongst the veteran population. He spoke of wounds visible and invisible. He emphasized the importance of supporting veterans not just on this special day, but throughout the year.

Rex mentioned a number of resources and encouraged veterans to reach out. See the links below for more information.
Assistant Principal Dorr again thanked all of the veterans and asked the members of the various branches—Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force—to stand and be recognized. The band followed with a rendition of the Armed Forces Salute.

The afternoon performance ended with CCHS Sophomore Jonah Schmidt with a lovely version of Taps.

Resources for veterans

Veterans Administration

Minnesota Veterans Administration

Military Order of the Purple Heart

American Legion

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Disabled American Veterans (DAV)

Wounded Warrior Project