Spring Hill ISD honors veterans with special annual ceremony

Spring Hill ISD honors veterans with special annual ceremony
Published: Nov. 9, 2023 at 1:39 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2023 at 10:48 PM CST
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - In Longview Thursday, Spring Hill ISD held a ceremony for area veterans in honor of Veterans Day, November 11. And veterans and their families in attendance were moved by the tribute.

It’s been a tradition of Spring Hill ISD for about two decades, this celebration of veterans. Intermediate Music Teacher Rachel Smith offered her rendition of the National Anthem.

Primary and intermediate choirs continued with several songs honoring attending veterans.

Army Veteran Mark Bourdon stepped away from his Spring Hill Junior High history class to attend.

“For me. You know, being a veteran is an honor in itself. One of the best things I’ve done in my life is serve because it helped me grow up. It taught me discipline, gave me direction. And it’s something in my life I can say I did something good,” Bourdon said.

He was a sergeant and in the First Armored Division in Desert Storm and said his time in the military helped him as a teacher.

“Sometimes maybe I revert back to Sgt. Bourdon and, you know, buckle down, but it does,” Bourdon said.

Mike Barnes was also Army from ‘84 to ‘87. He came in from Houston because:

“My grandkids are in the elementary and intermediate school,” Barnes said.

Not just in the schools, but in the choirs. He wouldn’t miss that.

“I’m glad to see them still doing this. If I remember right, Lynn Hefflen was the intermediate school principal when we started this. I want to say 2001,” Barnes said.

Yes, Barnes is not only an Army Veteran, but he’s also a Spring Hill Veteran. He was High School Band Director from 2000 to 2007 and said today he attended for the first time as an honoree.

“It was awesome, especially watching my grandkids perform,” Barnes said.

Mark said he tells his students what he can about his service.

“I’ve been to a lot of countries, and we have more freedoms here than anywhere. And we should appreciate it. It comes from our veterans,” Bourdon said.

Spring Hill ISD Superintendent Penny Fleet said the administrative team and all their campus principals work together to bring this program to area veterans every year.