Veteran's Appreciation

The annual event included a light breakfast for the veterans and their guests, singing of “The Star Spangled Banner” by the LHS choir, a performance by the Veteran Family Band, and the moving keynote speech about history by Rich Knight, a retired Marine Corps sergeant.

After the opening program, Liberty students sat down and talked to veterans in small groups, rotating every 20 minutes to talk to another veteran. This allowed students to learn many different histories, such as learning from a 103-year-old World War II veteran from Britain or a Navy fighter pilot who served in the Gulf War and now invests in local real estate. 

“The event was really important because it gives the students an opportunity to learn from the veterans' diverse perspectives and experiences of the stories they read in their history books,” social studies teacher Brooke Richter said. “The event makes history come alive for our students.”

The attending students were sophomores, juniors, and seniors from the Social Studies Honors Society. Attending the event is part of their requirement to earn a cord for graduation.The students guided the veterans to their seats and helped them get coffee and breakfast.

Ms. Richter added that she “overheard many veterans saying that they did not feel appreciated when they returned home from foreign conflicts, such as Vietnam, and so it means a lot to have this opportunity to be valued and respected. The students reported feeling very proud of the veterans they spoke with.”   

A plaque was presented to the LHS Social Studies by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7216 by post commander Fermin Torres in appreciation of the years of Veterans Appreciation programs hosted by Liberty students. 

It reads: "To the Liberty High School National Social Studies Honor Society, on behalf of Specialist 4 Leonard Alvarado, All American Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7216. This plaque is presented for your support, dedication, and appreciation for recognition and honoring Kern County Veterans at Veterans Appreciation Banquet on March 13, 2024. Sincerely, Fermin Torres, Commander VFW Post 7216." Specialist 4 Leonard Alvarado earned the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously, and his family allowed the medal to be brought to LHS for the students to view. Here's a link to his on-line biography: