By: John Friedmann
SCS hosted its third annual Veterans’ Night Event on Thursday, April 14. The evening was hosted by the junior class, under the instruction of English teacher Mr. Michael Troche.
Overall, the night was fantastic and SCS saw its biggest turnout yet. Over 30 veterans were in attendance. Many different veterans ranging from World War II all the way to present day came out to share their stories with the class.
I was able to talk with one of the veterans, and he shared his story with me. Corporal Henry D. Sipila is a Korean War veteran. Sipila was drafted into the army at age 21 and served from 1953 to 1956. He was in the Central Intelligence division and took part in many top secret missions. Corporal Sipila sent weapons that he obtained from the enemy to Washington to be studied. The goal was to find out who was supplying the enemy with these weapons. He also shared with me that he used to hangout in bars a lot growing up, and later, when the war was over, he went back to the bar to see all his buddies. His buddies did not even notice that Henry was gone. Sipila said nobody cared whether or not he and his guys came back. He told me that getting sent home was a miracle for him because his father was dying of cancer, and he was set to go home in three days. Then, all of a sudden, he got the notice that he was able to leave and go home early because peace had been declared.
When he came back to New York, he saw his father just before he passed away. He said it was a God moment. If he had not come home three days early, he would not have been able to say goodbye to his father.
Many of my friends and fellow classmates were blessed with being able to speak and share with these veterans. One student was able to speak with a Navy Seal who he and I have known for years, but we never knew his military background. Another one of my classmates made an inspiring video for the veterans that brought tears to their eyes.
I was personally blessed by all the veterans that came out that night. Veterans are so unappreciated in our society, and they need to be given more respect and honor. Urge everyone to shake hands and thank veterans for their service; this is not something that is done nearly enough.