St. Joseph’s Celebrates Veterans Day
In honor of Veterans Day, St. Joseph’s Indian School celebrated staff and alumni veterans throughout the week of November 7. Each day, students “met” through PowerPoint someone from the school who served in a branch of the armed forces.
Capping the week, alumnus Jacob Lacota spoke to seventh- and eighth-grade students about his experience as a United States Marine from 2016 to 2021. He became an E-5 Sergeant deployed overseas, working in radio operation and repair. “I joined the military to be part of something bigger than myself,” Lacota said. “I chose the Marine Corps because I wanted to be the best of the best … a member of the few and the proud. That is 1% of 1% of the entire nation.”
“My advice to those wanting to join the military: ‘Just do it!’ It was the best decision I ever made,” Lacota urged.
Monday, November 14, finished the observance of Veterans Day when Sergeant Noah Schafers, an Army National Guard Recruiter based in Chamberlain, spoke to the same students. Schafers joined the service in 2015 at age 17, during his junior year of high school. He told students his seven years of service allowed him to serve his community and travel overseas to several countries. “I don’t know where I would be without the Guard. It provides you the chance to succeed and do things you didn’t know were possible.”
He described some of the 210 jobs available to help build a person’s civilian life and career and showed videos of training that included bridge building and rockets exploding. Explaining that it takes a 31 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Test, he added, “Do well in school and outside life. Stay in sports. Be a good person and make the right choices. Focus, and more doors will open for you.”
The students watched in awe when he demonstrated the “T” pushup needed for the Physical Fitness Test.
Students peppered him with questions, “How long is basic training?” “Do girls have to cut their hair?”
Lacota and Schafers had rapt audiences, and St. Joseph’s thanks them for their visits and service.