The wall has a bronze seal to represent each branch of the military.
When Troy Snyder of Snyder Built Construction was creating the Wall of Honor in the stadium at Braden River High School, he was reminded of his grandfather, Lewis Spargo, who served in the Navy.
Now every time people look at the wall and the five bronze seals, one for each branch of the military, they can be reminded of those in the community and at Braden River High School who served or are serving.
The school held a dedication ceremony Nov. 21 for the wall. Five members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12055 pulled a red cloth off each seal in front of hundreds of Braden River families and community members.
The Marching Band of Pirates then performed the national anthem as the veterans and members of the school’s junior ROTC program saluted the flag.
The idea to dedicate the side of the wall facing the flagpole and football field came nearly two years ago from head football coach Curt Bradley.
With members of VFW Post 12055 raising the flag at almost every football game, Bradley approached Lt. Col. James Bradin, a senior Army instructor for the school’s JROTC program, about a way to permanently recognize veterans and the military service of students, faculty and staff and family members.
The JROTC program and VFW raised money for the seals. Braden River alumni and families and community members donated to the cause as well.
For VFW Post 12055, having the wall at the school is personal as their members volunteer to raise the flag at the home football games and provide scholarships to students at the school.
“We’ve always been huge supporters of the school, and the school has supported us,” said Graham Ellis, a member of VFW Post 12055 and a Navy veteran. “It’s one way that we can put the two together and hopefully let students here recognize their military forbearers and hopefully look to the future, possibly joining the services and the pride that goes with it.”
JROTC Cadet Lt. Col. Nicolas Wigginton said the wall will show the military respect.
“I feel like the only time [the military] gets respect is when the color guard comes out or when the VFW is here to raise the flag,” he said. “Now that [the wall] is here, it leaves a footprint on the school itself to show respect to the military.”