United States History Geography (USHG) students at Oxford High School heard tales of triumph and sorrow straight from the mouths of American heroes last Monday.
Twelve local Vietnam-era veterans spent the day giving students first-hand accounts of their military experiences, their time overseas and their military training.
Students had the opportunity to ask questions and many of them took the time to personally thank the veterans for their service.
OHS social studies teacher Andrea Chalut said this is the fourth year this event has been organized. “Every year the students are amazed, appreciative, and engrossed in the stories that are shared,” Chalut said. “It really helps to make history come alive. It’s a connection to history, a connection to the community, and a connection to humankind that cannot be taught in a textbook.”
Veterans also spoke to students about the trials they underwent upon returning to the United States, as many were not appreciated when they returned home from war.
One veteran who spoke to students that day was Chuck Haskin, who served in the U.S. Army and who’s Quartermaster of the North Oakland Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 334.
According to Haskin, North Oakland VFW Post 334 works with Oxford and Lake Orion students several times each year in an effort to keep these historical events fresh in the minds of younger generations.
“We do whatever we can. From Vietnam to World War II to World War I… a lot of this history and these wars are being condensed down into a paragraph in a book,” Haskin explained. “Anytime we get a chance to talk to the students and share our views, what we’ve seen and our experiences, we do so. Hopefully, they’ll understand the history and the events that we’ve had and as they grow into adults, they won’t forget the past so that they won’t make the same mistakes in the future.”