Two Ottumwa schools will sponsor events to honor veterans on Wednesday, November 8.
Evans Middle School will start the day with a breakfast for veterans from 8:15 – 9 a.m. in the school’s library, served by members of the student council. The Evans Middle School orchestra will provide the music.
The annual Veteran’s Day Assembly will begin at 9 a.m. in the gym. Performers include the Evans band and choir, as well as a solo, “God Bless the USA” by Mark Hanson, retired OHS principal. Poster winners from each grade level will be recognized and Thank You note winners will read their notes to the veterans.
Major Kiel Craig Archer will be this year’s keynote speaker. Major Archer was born in Waterloo and graduated from Marion High School. He attended the University of Northern Iowa and while at UNI enlisted in the Army. After graduation, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the Iowa National Guard as an Engineer Officer.
Major Archer has deployed twice, both with the 833 EN CO out of Ottumwa. His first deployment was in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007 to 2008. His second deployment was in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from January to November 2013.
Major Archer has received many awards during his Army career. His awards include: Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Bronze Star 2nd Award, Army Commendation Medal 4th Award, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M device, NATO Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal 2nd Award, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO Award, and Deflurry Medal-Bronze.
Currently Major Archer is the Operations and Training Officer for Recruiting and Retention Battalion and serves as a Company Commander for the Charlie Company Recruit Sustainment Program in Iowa City.
There will be a flag-raising ceremony after the assembly.
Wilson Elementary will also host a Veteran’s Day ceremony on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. in the school gym. The student-led assembly will feature a video about Veterans Day, the OHS JROTC Color Guard posting the colors and giving a flag folding demonstration, and a trumpeter. Fifth graders will read their essays on “What the Flag Means to Me.” Students will also sing “Living in the Heart of America,” and “A Grateful Nation.”
The public is invited to both events.