Honoring our WSHS Veterans

On Wednesday, November 11, America paid tribute to our members of the Armed Forces past and present by celebrating Veterans’ Day. At WSHS, we have several employees who have served our country with pride. A few of them shared their experiences with The Bear Truth.

          Cynthia Urena, E5, Petty Officer 2nd Class, served in the Navy for five years. Urena joined the Navy “to become an Air Traffic Controller and I knew it would make my father proud.” One of her favorable memories of being in the military was “watching the highspeed aircraft maneuvers.” One of the highlights of her career was “becoming a tower supervisor and earning my FAA ticket.” Urena also shared this. “The demands in the military can be very challenging but it will make you a stronger individual and teach you self-discipline.  The experience you get in the military is unique!”

             Clayton Corey, served for five years in the U.S. Army as a Specialist (SPC). He joined after the events of 9\11 because he felt a strong need\desire to serve our country. Corey shared that “deploying to Iraq and Bolivia as a photographer (Combat Photographer\Video Production Specialist) while in the 5th Special Forces Group was extremely memorable as well as eventful.  I did two tours in Iraq and deployed to Bolivia while with the 5th Special Forces Group, and the 55th Combat Camera.  The imagery I captured and brotherhood I share with the men and women I served with will forever be a part of me.”

         In addition, Corey provided the following advice to prospective recruits, “If you are considering joining the military, talk to a veteran first.  No one knows better what to expect while you are in the military, and few can offer more sound advice regarding you career choice.  Having the right job while in the military makes all the difference not only while you serve your country, but how you can benefit from your service when you get out.  Please feel free to talk to me at any time!”

          Brian M. Black, served in the United States Marines Corps as a Sargeant for four years. A recruiter encouraged Black to join. Black explained, “I had dropped out of college and was working construction when a recruiter came to talk to me at my apartment and convinced me to join.” During his time in the military, Black had the opportunity to travel overseas. “When I was stationed in Japan, going for runs on the ledge of the sea wall, the ledge was about 6 inches wide and about 30 feet down on rock if I fell. Super fun keeping balance and fighting wind to stay on ledge.” He also share a “career highlight would be keeping my PT score above 297 after boot camp which translates into 100 sit ups in 2 minutes, 20 pull ups and running 3 miles in under 18:15.”

         Black shared his advice to students, stating, “Never be so ridged that you are not able to be flexible to overcome situations, following the Marine Corps’ motto ‘adapt and overcome’.” 

          Frederick Ramie works with our JROTC program, and is currently ranked as Sergeant Major in the Army. He has been serving our country for 25 years. Ramie joined the Army as a means to support his family. During his career he has had the opportunity to travel to other countries and especially enjoyed living in Germany. He takes pride in developing soldiers and has worked hard to develop the ROTC program at WSHS. The following quote “Look in the mirror, that’s your competition,” by Eric Thomas is one that he shares with his students.

         Erik Dye, who also works with the cadets in the JROTC program at WSHS, has been serving in the U.S. Army for 20 years and his current rank is Lieutenant Colonel. As a kid, Dye loved G.I. Joe. He shared that, “The Army gave me the opportunity to travel and be financial free.” Dye is proud of his military career and said, “My career highlight was starting and finishing my 20-year military career still married to my wife Sara.” He advises his students that “Life is hard; just smile and keep moving forward.  The hardest day was yesterday.”

 The members of The Bear Truth wish to thank all of our WSHS Veterans for their service to our country: Brian M. Black, Octavius Clark, Clayton Corey, Joe Cumminskey, Timothy Dopp, Eric Dye, Lisa May, Joseph Pavone, Fred Ramie, Jeff Schaefer, and Cynthia Urena.