U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Tennessee State Trooper Dakota Jordan was the guest speaker during Huntingdon High School’s Veterans Day program Monday morning in the school gymnasium.
Jordan’s younger sister and HHS student Emily Taylor introduced Jordan, telling how he enlisted with the Marine Corps in 2009 at the age of 17.
While in the service, Jordan served in South and North Carolina, Georgia, Hawaii, Alaska, California, Arizona, Thailand, the Philippines, South Korea, and Japan, specializing in Marine Aviation Operations and Intel Analysis System Operations and reaching the rank of sergeant before being honorably separated from the Marine Corps in 2016.
As Jordan detailed, he entered the military at such a young age, rather than going to college or just getting a job, because he realized he needed discipline in his life.
Jordan spoke about the many sacrifices that servicemen and women make, not only of their lives in some cases, but also suffering from life altering injuries and lasting mental and emotional problems – all to defend the lives and freedoms of their fellow Americans.
He encouraged students to live lives worthy of those sacrifices and to never do or say anything to disrespect their country or its flag.
“Be the kind of Americans we would want to fight and die for,” said Jordan.
An HHS alumnus, Jordan currently serves Carroll, Benton, and Henry Counties as a trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Over 30 local veterans attended the program, and each one was recognized by name by student Jordan Davis.
Principal Johnathan Kee welcomed the veterans, thanking them for the sacrifices they have made and acknowledging his own debt to them.
“I did not sacrifice anything for the freedoms I enjoy,” said Kee.
Students Konnor Pearson and Hunter Ensley presented and retired the colors.
The HHS Band performed the “Star Spangled Banner” and the “Armed Forces Salute.”
Merriett Willis led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Macey Culbreath shared a scripture and led the assembly in prayer.
Kaci Fuller spoke on the history of Veterans Day.
Lauren Williams led everyone in a moment of silence before band member Tizzy Smith played “Taps” on the trumpet.