American Heroes

Veteran Teachers are Honored by Student Council for Veterans Day

Charlotte McConathy and Henrique Arantes


Photos by: Derrick Rogers, Carl McNeil, and Caleb McLelland

Teachers Derrick Rogers, Carl McNeil, and Caleb McLelland in their military photos.

     He holds up the hanger, admiring the green and brown camo jacket. As he hangs up this prestigious uniform that he has worn for so long for the last time, he reminisces on his past years in the service. The friends he has made and the long-lasting legacy he has made in the army will forever be in his heart.

     The Student Council honored veteran teachers at the high school by naming them on the announcements on Veterans Day. They passed handmade candy bags and recited a small passage about the importance of veterans.

     “I’m glad that I joined the military,” tennis coach Derrick Rogers said. “It taught me some extremely important lessons that I’ve managed to transfer into my everyday life.”

     Rogers started out his career in the military as a member of the reserves. This allows people to be able to continue their education or hold another job while participating in the military at the same time.

     “One of the best decisions I ever made was the decision to join the reserves after I graduated high school,” Rogers said. “It allowed me to take classes at TJC while also serving our nation.”

     Government and economics teacher Carl McNeil served in the Army, Field Artillery, and as a Lance Missile Crewman. He served from May of 1983 to January of 1989.

     “I had always dreamed of serving in the military in some way because my dad had served in the Army and my brother in the Marines,” McNeil said. “I felt as though it was my turn to represent my family and nation in the most honorable way I could imagine.”

     Life skills teacher Caleb McLelland served four years on active duty in the Air Force. He joined at 19 years old and left for basic training in September 2005.

     “I was honestly just looking for a way out,” McLelland said. “I graduated from Lindale in 2003 and I wanted to find a way to be a part of something bigger than myself. I decided to join the military because I wanted to explore the world and see what else was out there.”

     Veterans Day was created to honor those who risked their lives for our country. Veterans learned the importance of hardwork and teamwork through their years in service.

     “The memories and lessons I took away from my time in service are some that I will never forget,” McLelland said. “I encourage everyone who even has a small interest in joining the military to do so. I still keep in contact with multiple people that I met during my time in service and I wouldn’t trade the friendships for anything.”