One Veterans Day display that was manned by Pleasant Valley High School students at its 17th Annual Veterans Day program was that of the U.S. Navy Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC), the Lehigh Valley chapter. Proudly wearing sailor suits with composed military countenances were Connor Peechatka, Steven Nale and Chris Schwenck.
Peechatka, 15, a PVHS sophomore, explained that the NSCC, through organization and cooperation with the Department of the Navy, encourages and aids American youth from ages 11-18 to develop, train them in seagoing skills, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance and kindred virtues since 1958. It is committed to providing American youth with a drug and alcohol-free environment to foster their leadership abilities, broaden their horizons through hands-on training and guide them to becoming mature young adults.
The organization meets outside of school time. The cadets learn military drills and train monthly, and attend training during summers. Their ultimate goal is to attend a military academy or a college with an ROTC program.
Peechatka hopes to be accepted to the United States Naval Academy or Penn State or Purdue University's ROTC program.
He wants all veterans to know that he thanks them for all they've done in fighting for our freedoms, even though they fought for people they've never met.
Chris Schwenck, 16, a PVHS junior, hopes to be accepted to the Naval Academy or Virginia Military Institute. He also thanks all veterans for their service and sacrifices "so we don't have to."
Steven Nale, 15 and a sophomore, wants to attend the Naval Academy.
"I'll always remember what our veterans have done. They inspire me to make the career choice I want, to someday be an officer in the U.S. Navy," Nale says.
There are four PVHS and one PVMS students currently enrolled in the NSCC Lehigh Valley chapter and one PVHS student in the Scranton chapter.