Important Lessons Learned from our Veterans

Dear Hill-Murray Community,

Yesterday we welcomed nine veterans to Hill-Murray’s campus to speak with our middle and upper school students, faculty and staff.

It was an honor being in their presence and our students were able to listen and learn about their differing experiences, service, career paths, and sacrifices they made for our country.

This week we honored all of our veterans who gave their best when they were called upon to serve and protect our country and our freedom.

Many of our veterans referenced their basic training experiences, lessons learned, and the growth and confidence that came from doing incredibly challenging things at a young age. I remember a graduation speech a colleague shared with me by Admiral William H. Raven at the University of Texas-Austin, and I think we can all learn something from his Navy SEAL basic training life lessons.

As an educator and parent, we often want to protect children from challenging and hard experiences, but time and time again we know that kids need to face failure, loss, and many challenges in order to build the confidence, grit and determination to succeed.

At our assembly we asked the students and faculty how many had a relative that has served our country and a majority of hands went up. In fact one of the veterans who spoke was a father of a teacher at Hill-Murray, and another a husband of a teacher, who talked about how hard it was to be deployed when his wife was seven months pregnant.

We also recognized two of our own faculty members who are veterans and our students honored them in a special way. 

Veteran Brian Rose, an H-M Physical Education Teacher, surrounded by some grateful middle schoolers.

So this week, as we look at the challenges we each personally face, we know they are small in comparison to those who are serving or have served our country. We ask that they are blessed and guided by the Holy Spirit for the hardships they faced and sacrifices they have made for all of us.

Veteran Erin Bourget, an H-M Religious Studies Teacher, with a special thank you box from school and cards signed by dozens of students.

We pray that they will be watched over and their families blessed with peace.

May their faith be their power and protector, and may they always experience God’s gentle love and compassionate healing.

In Gratitude,

Melissa Dan