The Pleasant Valley High School honored United States veterans at its 17th annual Veterans Day program.

Mark Tramontina, a PVHS social studies teacher, with the help of his wife, Monica, a PVHS paraprofessional associate, spearhead the program, along with students from his social studies students classes.

Students make up the colorguard, man the many displays, sing patriotic songs, read patriotic poems, and give a background on what Veterans Day is and how it came to be. This year's emcees were seniors Kiki Adams and Patrick Rimple.

Speakers included Gerald Zeman, Skip Baker and Michael Smith, veterans of the United States Navy and members of the Pocono Chapter of the United States Submarine Veterans Inc.

Smith spoke to the student body about how submarine duty is considered "unglamorus."

He talked about how the biggest submarine campaign was during World War II.

"It was their duty to 'bother' the Japanese and they did just that," he said.

He gave some submarine facts about WW II. There were 314 submarines of which nearly 260 were deployed to the Pacific. During the war, 52 were lost to all causes, with 48 directly due to hostilities, 3,505 sailors were lost and U.S. submarines sank 1,560 enemy vessels.

Smith asked for a moment of silence as he read the names of the U.S. submarines lost.

Navy veteran Darryl Frasier of Brodheadsville said it was important to honor veterans, men and women. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1967-71 and said women "came aboard" in 1971.

"They added a different facet to the Navy...let us remember the role of women in service," he said.

Frasier served aboard the USS America with 5,500 sailors as a machinist mate. A typical day was an eight-hour shift with a four-hour watch after. They had everything they needed even though in the middle of the Gulf.

He asked everyone to not forget the homeless and wounded veterans and to offer respect to all veterans, so that no other veteran would be made to feel as bad as returning service men and women from the Vietnam War.

"We came back to being called baby killers, we were spat on and people walked to the other side of a street if they saw us coming. All we ever wanted, was your respect. We did our job well."

He told the students that veterans today get more respect and hope if they see a veteran they say "Thank you." He complimented them by saying it made him feel good to see so many young men and women in such a respectful manner.

Display tables set up in the PVHS gym featured pictures, uniforms and information about each of the wars from World War I to the present.

PVHS principal John Gress said the purpose of the Veterans Day program was to recognize those "who gave so much...They are our heroes."

Darcie Asbee, a PVHS student wrote and read her poem, "Soldier's War."


Chaos all around

Loud booming, shouting

Din, the only sound.

Then silence

As your every thought

Succumbs to instinct's hold

Sometimes all for naught.

The struggle with emotions

As they try to overpower

You're fighting to suppres them

Every minute, every hour.

You know there will be loss

There's loss in victory

Relief when it's all over

You're done, finally free.

But only for a moment

By memories you're haunted

All because you fought

In a war you never wanted.

Although your time was hard

Take pride in your long past

You have fought for all

Our pride in you will last.

So tell the generations

Teach them to be strong

Your job is not yet over

You must pass these tales along.