ZEPHYR —Interrupting the noise and energy of a Zephyr High School pep rally Friday afternoon, Zephyr coach and teacher Deann Perkins called the members of the senior class to line up across the gym floor.
Then, Perkins called two representatives of the Central Texas Veterans’ Memorial Committee — Harold Stieber and Tom Gray — to join the seniors, who presented the men with a giant replica of a $250 check.
The check represents funds the senior class is donating to the veterans’ memorial, which recently lost four of its 12 granite tablets to what many believe was a windstorm earlier this year. The memorial will host a Veterans Day observance at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12
Stieber and Gray are also members of the American Legion post in Brownwood.
Perkins explained the origin of the $250.
When the students were juniors last year, they produced and performed in a patriotic silhouette performance with Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” playing as a backdrop. The performance highlights great moments in American history including the crossing of the Potomac River in the Revolutionary War and the flag-raising on Iwo Jim in World War II.
The Zephyr students took the silhouette performance to multiple locations and won first place in state 4-H competition. When they were asked to perform at the Coryell County 4-H banquet, the students loaded up and traveled there, and were given $250 for travel reimbursement, Perkins said.
The students elected to donate that money to the veterans’ memorial.
Stieber told the story of the loss of the four tablets at the memorial. The loss exceeded $40,000, and while funds have been donated to make up the loss, the Zephyr students’ donation “will help tremendously,” Stieber told the students. In addition to the students’ donation, there were other tributes to veterans at the pep rally.
Gray told the students he served in Vietnam and said he thinks each day about the men he lost there. “I’m very honored and humbled to be here today, because it’s so great to see the youth of this community honoring veterans,” Gray said.
“I pray every day that none of you will ever have to serve in a war. But I’m also realistic, knowing that this world is a very dangerous place with all the rogue nations we have, and all the terrorists that we have to contend with.
“So there will always be a need for the armed forces, and I thank you for your support.”