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Principal shares service,passion for military flight

Annabelle Dickson

Andraea Aguilera

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Principal Wayne Haver spent several years in the United States military, serving at the Fort Hood base in Killeen, Texas for two of them. Soon after, he headed to Vietnam. Throughout his combat experience, Haver received an invitation to the White House to meet President Richard Nixon and also experienced the Bob Hope show live on Christmas Eve in Vietnam after accepting command to lead 64 men. He prioritized in making sure each man made it back safely.

Volunteering right out of college at Fort Hood as a lieutenant, Haver remembers going home after two years. His wife gave birth to their daughter; and, eventually he got called back into the army without having volunteered. He and the other men lived in tents. He adjusted to life without a hot shower, a warm bed, and clean clothes.

“I wouldn’t have volunteered to go to Vietnam because I had a wife and a daughter who was a year-and-a-half old. So I lost a year-and-a-half of her life by being away. Despite that, I look back on that experience, glad that I did it. The stuff you take for granted here in America, we didn’t have over there. When you came back home, you’ve got the luxuries of life. You’ve got a warm bed and hot food. So to be there, made you appreciate what we have here in America.,” Haver said.

Haver strongly believes that veterans deserve utmost respect for their duties. As a veteran, he recognizes that those who join the military in any way protect the freedoms of the country.

“Without our military, we would be vulnerable to anybody coming in. It’s important that we have people who serve. And I think veterans need to be respected and honored for their service, even if they didn’t go overseas because they certainly maintained the military forces that protected America,” Haver said.

            Keeping in contact with his fellow soldiers proves important to Haver. He runs into some of them often, though at least four in his unit died over the years. His family sends Christmas cards to some of those he served with. Most of them live in surrounding areas such as Greenwood, Sallisaw, and Van Buren.

            “Another lieutenant I knew lives in San Antonio. I actually saw him last year when the band when down there. We met and had coffee and pie together. We’ve even met up with him at Six Flags over Texas before. It’s not every year, but I keep in contact with them. You make some lasting friends in the military like that,” Haver said.

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Principal shares service,passion for military flight