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Students Learn From, Honor Veterans-Bend Bulletin

November 13, 2011
Crook County High School

The Fine Arts Department of Crook County High School banded together Thursday night to commemorate Veterans Day in a Veterans Recognition Concert that included music, song and speech.

The school’s choir and bands played tribute to veterans in the audience through their performances of patriotic songs while drama students recounted their interviews with five local veterans.

The interviews took place over several weeks and were part of a veterans history project the class created, said drama teacher Anita Hoffman. The class plans to assemble transcripts of the interviews, along with historical photographs and memorabilia, and send them to Washington, D.C., to be archived in the Library of Congress.

Hoffman said the project and concert were a way to bring students closer to local veterans and their experiences.

“It was pretty cool,” she said.

“We wanted this year to be youth-oriented with kids actually connecting to veterans.,” Hoffman said. “We had a whole variety of people tell students about their service.”

Crook County High School senior LaDia Broughton said she realized the difficulties of service when interviewing 63-year-old Army veteran Gary Soules, who served a year disarming explosives in foxholes in Vietnam.

“I learned that sometimes things are so hard that you can’t physically talk about them,” Broughton, 17, said. “And that you can serve your country and there still might be some people who don’t support you.”

Soules, too, said passing on his memories to students was a powerful experience.

“It refocused my life,” he said.

Soules said his advice for the students he worked with was “to believe in themselves. They can be successful if they work hard.”

Broughton said she chose the poem “They Did Their Share,” by Joanna Fuchs, to recite at the concert because “it tells you all about their sacrifice.”

“It really stuck out to me,” she said. “Because they did do their share. They really did.”

— Reporter: 541-383-0376, dtaylor@bendbulletin.com

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