Area schools honor veterans


Benjamin Logan and Indian Lake High Schools honored veterans in special activities on Friday. Benjamin Logan served veterans and their spouses breakfast, followed by a ceremony in the gymnasium. The band played several selections and included comments from MSG Joshua L. Shields, OHARNG (Ret), and Lt Col Robert C. Hume, USAF (Ret).

The students and staff of Benjamin Logan Schools gathered to thank local veterans and active-duty military for their service and dedication.

The ceremony began with the singing of the National Anthem by the Show Choir and the Pledge of Allegiance led by the President’s Roundtable.

Mr. Tyler Young led the Fourth Grade Choir in singing “This is My Country”.

Speaker Master Sergeant (MSG) Joshua L. Shields addressed the audience.

The BLHS Student Government announced they would be donating $500 to the Wounded Warrior Project in support of their mission to assist our nation’s veterans every day.

The 7th & 8th Grade Choir and the High School Choir, led by Mr. Michael Dove, sang “God Bless the USA.”

Speaker Lieutenant Colonel Robert Hume addressed the audience.

The High School Concert Band led by Mr. Myles Bowers performed the “Armed Forces Salute.”

8th-grade students Cara France and Aaron Gonzales read poems to explain why it is so important to remember and honor this very important day.

To conclude the event Graham Studebaker and Caleb Knight sounded Taps.


Indian Lake invited veterans and their guests to a recognition celebration featuring refreshments and an assembly in the auditorium.

Lakers learned the true story and real-life sacrifice of an Indian Lake High School Vietnam veteran during the recent 2023 ILHS Veterans Day Program.

1964 Indian Lake graduate and United States Army veteran himself, Bob Mitchell, was the featured speaker at the moving event. He told the story of his friend, classmate, and fellow soldier, Private First Class Herbert Stephen Bechtel. 

As a machine gun operator, Private Bechtel was stationed in a strategic hold near Saigon, South Vietnam when Vietcong forces attempted to advance. Private Bechtel braved enemy fire several times to get more ammunition to cover his unit and despite being injured himself, refused to move back and received medical treatment.
“The Vietcong increased the intensity of their fire on his position, yet he continued firing at the enemy. His highly accurate fire covered the distraction of evacuating casualties from the battlefield.” 
Mitchell continued, “Then his weapon was silenced. After the Vietcong forces emptied their base camp, Private Bechtel was found dead behind his weapon, with his finger still on the trigger, all ammunition expended. 

Private Bechtel had decided, if necessary, that he would sacrifice his own life to enable his comrades to live. Although there was ample opportunity for him to change his mind, he stuck with his decision to the end. Not only did his action save many lives, but also provided them with inspiration to continue to battle and resoundly defeat the enemy.”
Private Bechtel’s bravery earned him many posthumous honors, including the Presidential Citation and Purple Heart. Several members of his family were in attendance.

Mitchell also named several other ILHS soldiers who lost their lives fighting in Vietnam including Terry Timms (1962-Infantryman), Lynn Ferguson (1964-Medic), Steven Zimmerman (1966-Infantryman), Stephen Mueller (1966-Infantryman), Duane Davis (1967-Wireman), Billy Ray Price (1969-Radio Operator), Frank Hoge (1962-Infantryman), Randall Krueger (1968- Machine Gun), Jerry Young (1966-Infantryman) and James Early (Lakeview School-Communications) 

Prior to Mitchell’s speech, Indian Lake students hosted more than 80 local veterans for snacks and fellowship in the ILHS Auxiliary Gym. All veterans received a special letter crafted by ILES students. Then each veteran was introduced and got a standing ovation with flags flying as they entered the auditorium. 

The program, put together by ILHS clubs, featured recognition of each branch of the military Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Marines, and Space Force, colors presented by the VFW Post #39 in Lakeview, and a Flag Folding explanation and demonstration.

After the program, students shook hands with the local veterans and posed for pictures with loved ones. 

Riverside Local Schools will host their annual Veteran’s Day breakfast and assembly on Monday, November 13th starting at 8:30.