May 27, 2019
Time flies when you are having fun! School is almost out and we won’t know what to do with ourselves until next August! But until then . . .
Each year I send out a Memorial Day “Matter of Principal.” Most of the content will be familiar to many, but give it a read anyway. It will refresh your memory, and make the weekend more meaningful.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been a part of our students’ lives for as long as they can remember. When the initial invasion of Afghanistan occurred in October, 2001 the members of the class of ’19 were just making their appearance on the planet. While Iraq and Afghanistan are not front and center in the news, the cost of those wars, and the wars that were fought before them, continues to be borne by thousands of brave men and women and their families.
Debbie and I had sons serving in the Army from 2001-2018. Between 2002 and 2018 (with the exception of 2008-09), at least one of our sons was on at least one combat deployment each year. Debbie and I often speak about how thankful we are that our sons are not being remembered on Memorial Day. We are reminded however, that while we will feel relief this weekend, two of our WCHS families will feel the pain of loss. There may be more, but I just don’t know about them. Often our military men and women are “quiet professionals” in life and in death.
Consider the Belkofer family. Margaret “Margo”, and her daughters Alyssa (WCHS ’13) and Ashley (WCHS ‘17) had their world changed forever when Margo saw the sight that every military family member prays they will never see — Army officers in dress uniform, standing at the door. She was informed that on May 18, 2010, her husband, and the girls’ father, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas P. Belkofer, age 44, had died as a result of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his NATO convoy with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. Margo, Alyssa and Ashley moved from Ft. Drum, New York (home of the 10th Mountain Division) to central Ohio and have been part of our WC family since 2010. Click this link to read what was said about the life and career of Lt. Colonel Belkofer on the floor of United States House of Representative by Rep. Robert E. Latta on May 28, 2010. You should also Google “Thomas P. Belkofer” and learn much more about this great man.
All of us who lived in central Ohio and were old enough to know what was going on, remember hearing news reports about Lima Company, part of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment. On August 3, 2005, Marine Sergeant Justin F. Hoffman, along with 13 of his fellow Marines, was killed in action serving his country outside the town of Haditha in western Iraq. An improvised explosive device was detonated in the midst of their convoy. Sgt. Hoffman was a 1995 graduate of Worthington Christian High School. Our flag pole bears a plaque in his memory, and is illuminated so that the flag can fly 24/7 while school is in session. Click this link to read what was said about Sgt. Hoffman on the floor of the United States Senate on December 7, 2006 by then-Senator, now-Governor Mike DeWine. This link will take you to a memorial video.
These are two real people, known and loved by the WCHS community. Please keep these families in your hearts, minds and prayers this Memorial Day weekend. If you know of other direct WC connections please let me know, so they might be included in future memorials.
Proud to be a Citizen of the Kingdom of God, an American, a Warrior, and a Parent of Soldiers,
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