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Bishop Luers High School takes pride in knowing it is viewed as a family by those within. Just like any family, what affects one often affects all. Therefore, one can see how something as significant as the military would have a great effect. In fact, 3,013 United States military deaths have occurred since March 19, 2003, and over 22,800 troops have been wounded. Though the Luers family is fortunate enough not to have experienced its first casualty, it is still affected in many ways by the war.

As head of the family, Principal Mary Keefer said, “Every American is affected in some way. This war pulls apart family units, including the Luers family.”

Lives are affected by knowing someone serving in the military. Many students have relatives, Luers graduates or not, who are currently deployed, or have recently been deployed. These students, like freshman Emily Braun, knows what it feels like to be away from an aunt, uncle, cousin, or other relative.

However, some students find the effects of this war hitting a little closer to home.

Sophomore Sarah Lovejoy commented, “My brother Josh is in the military, and he was in Iraq. We are pretty close, and it’s hard that he lives so far away.”

Freshman Tony Lovejoy agrees by saying, “We never get to see Josh except maybe at Christmas.”

While it is hard to miss one sibling, junior Christian Skordos and freshman Patricia Skordos are forced to miss two.

“I miss my two older brothers. One is stationed in Okinawa, Japan, and the other in Missouri,” said P. Skordos.

C. Skordos commented, “He calls at 5:30 AM, forgetting the time difference of Japan.”

The absence of a sibling can be very hard to cope with, but some students must learn to function without a parent. Jason Chandler, Hollie Doak, and Mary Kate Litchfield know what this feels like.
“My dad is on his twelfth overseas trip, but my family has a way of dealing with it,” Chandler commented.

While Chandler deals with his father being gone, Litchfield finds it harder. “When my dad went to Iraq, it was the worst year of my life. I had to wake up every morning wondering whether or not my dad would be coming home,” Litchfield said.

Along with the sadness of missing someone comes a great pride felt by only those with direct ties to the military.

Junior Jeanne Gibson said, “My brother Mark is in the Marines. It is hard not having him home, but my family and I are so proud of him. We know what he is doing is extremely important, and we are all a little more patriotic because of him!”

Despite the fact that the war takes its toll on the families back at home, no one is affected more than those brave enough to serve our country. J. Gibson’s brother Mark (’05) admitted to growing up quickly as a Marine. “I look at life a lot differently now because I realize how fragile it is. I have lost a few friends from boot camp and MOS (Military Occupational Specialties) school in Iraq. Right now the seniors think they have everything figured out, but when or if their world comes crashing down, those religion classes and faith in God will come in handy. That is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned being in the Marines and being so far away from home,” commented Lance Corporal Mark Gibson, USMC.

Although conditions are tough, and one will be separated from family and friends, students are still enlisting in the military. What are the deciding factors that make them want to join? Well, serving their country seems to be number one, but some also find it to be a family tradition.

“I believe everybody should serve their country in some way. This is the best way I know,” senior Ted Ilges said.

Senior Jason Chandler is also carrying on the family tradition, “My grandpa was a tail gunner in WWII. All of my uncles were or are a part of the military. My dad has served for over 20 years, and is currently deployed.” Chandler and Ilges are among the few from the class of ’07 that are already enlisted.

Of course, some students just cannot picture themselves in battle. These students have the choice to serve their country in other ways that appeal to them.

Freshman Amanda Gigli commented, “I don’t picture myself actually fighting in wars, but I could see myself working behind the scenes with computers.”

“I would like to be in the Navy or Marines as a stationed nurse,” sophomore Krys Kistner said.

Students may still find themselves unconvinced that the military is right for them. “I plan on having a family and wouldn’t want to leave them,” sophomore Cally Shaw said.

Senior Maggie Maher commented honestly, “My mom would never let me.”

Those brave enough to serve our country in previous wars and conflicts should never be forgotten. Therefore, one should take the time out of his or her day to visit the school library where a plaque honoring the fallen graduates of Bishop Luers proudly hangs on the wall. This plaque includes the names Merlin Marquardt, Dennis Morrell, Shelly Egly, Ronald Colone, and Jerome Bowers.

The Waynedale News Staff
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