North Dorchester Middle School honors veterans
SHILOH — The North Dorchester Middle School honored local veterans Friday, Nov. 11, during its annual Veterans Day Ceremony in the school’s gym.
Local dignitaries and Dorchester County Board of Education members and Dorchester County Public Schools officials joined the event.
The school invited local veterans and community members to attend the ceremony, which featured musical selections from the North Dorchester Middle School band and chorus. The band performed “Military Medley” and “God Bless America” while the chorus sang “I’ll Make the Difference” with soloists Elijah Talley and JaKiya Davis, and “America Medley” with soloist Lilian McDonald.
The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office presented the colors. The school asked all veterans to stand to be recognized during the ceremony. At the end, eighth grader Devin Lord performed “Taps.”
U.S. Navy CPO and NDMS parent Tim Kroeger was the ceremony’s keynote speaker. He joined the Navy in 1993 after high school and served 10 years as an electronics warfare technician.
“It is an honor to be here today,” Kroeger said. “I loved every minute of serving in the Navy. I loved being stationed all over the country. I loved traveling around the world.”
Kroeger said he joined the Navy because he was unsure what he wanted to do for a career but knew the Navy would give him a chance to find out and would pay for college.
“Another reason why I joined was because I wanted to make an impact in the world around me,” he said. “In fact, I still do. I still work for the federal government. I wanted to make the world a better place.”
Kroeger said the U.S. military does more than fight battles. He said the military provides services, such as helping with relief efforts in South Carolina, North Carolina and the Caribbean Islands after Hurricane Matthew.
“The Navy deployed three ships to help aid Haiti after the hurricane,” he said. “While serving in the Navy, I participated in all sorts of service projects. I volunteered over the weekend at local schools to help students learn to read.
“This was something I never realized the military did,” he said. “Even though the military is fighting the War on Terrorism all around the world, I guarantee service members today are still conducting service projects. I feel that is pretty awesome.
“We send our young people all over the world to other nations, and while they are there, they are serving those local people, demonstrating to them what it means to be an American,” he said.
NDMS Principal Leslie Tolley thanked all the veterans for coming to Friday’s ceremony and for their service to the United States.
“We’re here today to honor our heroes, their achievements, their courage and their dedication, and to say thank you for their sacrifices,” she said. “Thinking of the heroes who join us in this group today and those who are here only in spirit, a person can’t help but feel awed by the enormity of what we encounter. We stand in the midst of patriots and the family and friends of those who have nobly served.
“Thank you for answering the call of duty,” she said. “Your unwavering dedication has made our armed forces the most respected force in the world, all while tackling a host of challenges from conventional threats aboard to helping prevent terror from coming to our shores.
“Our gathering is just one small spark in the flame of pride that burns across the nation today and every day,” she said. “It’s one small way we can honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live in freedom.”
Local veterans stand and get recognized at the North Dorchester Middle School Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday, Nov. 11.
The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard presents the colors during the North Dorchester Middle School Veterans Day Ceremony Friday, Nov. 11.
U.S. Navy CPO and North Dorchester Middle School parent Tim Kroeger gives the keynote address at the North Dorchester Middle School Veterans Day Ceremony Friday, Nov. 11.
North Dorchester Middle School Principal Leslie Tolley thanks local veterans for their service in the U.S. Military during the school’s Veterans Day Ceremony Friday, Nov. 11.