Veterans honored during ceremony at East Liverpool High School

EAST LIVERPOOL — She’s the one who went away one person and came back another; he’s the old guy bagging groceries who helped liberate a Nazi death camp who wishes his wife was still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

No matter what else they are, they are veterans, and they were honored Monday at East Liverpool High School by students and staff.

The school waited until Monday for its celebration since the band performed in the Veterans’ Day parade Saturday and juniors and seniors were in the nation’s capital on that day.

“But, every day is a day of service,” teacher Jason Croxall reminded the students.

Croxall offered an emotional look at a veteran who figured prominently in his own life, whose dream was to go to college and become an architect but who, instead, got drafted in 1964.

When he returned to East Liverpool, this veteran joined the city fire department, where he eventually became chief, serving a total of 26 years.

After retiring, he continued to serve the community, his church, his family and Croxall said, “The man I gave you as an example isn’t here today. He’s far too humble and feels his service can’t compare to those in front of us now, but I disagree.”

He became emotional as he thanked retired city fire chief Ed Croxall, for his service, saying, “Thanks, dad.”

Retired teacher Dan Painter spoke to the students about his own military service, saying he joined the Marines on the “buddy plan” before he even graduated, telling them, “Unfortunately, my buddy never made it back.”

He told the students that joining the service is “a great honor” and “something you’ll never forget,” saying there are many advantages, such as free education and seeing the world.

Current career-tech instructor Ed Adamson also spoke to the students, telling them he joined the U.S. Air Force during “what was considered peace time,” saying, “But there was a cold war against Russia, the same scenario playing out today with North Korea.”

Adamson said he “did a lot of growing up and maturing” in the Air Force, adding, “My military service provided me with a lot of opportunity.”

Veterans were treated to breakfast before the program, which included presentation of the colors by the Tri-State Burial Group and music by the high school choir.