10 LHS Tigers commit to serving our country
in the U.S. Armed Forces
By Chuck Gibson
LOVELAND, OH (May 5, 2021) – In a special signing ceremony held in the high school auditorium Tuesday, April 27, 2021, Loveland High School (LHS) celebrated the commitment of 10 members of the Class of 2021 to serving in the United States Armed Forces.
The 10 students signing to serve in the military included 7- U.S. Marine recruits, 1- Ohio National Guard, 1-U.S. Navy, and 1- U.S. Naval Academy. Two of the ten students were unable to attend the ceremony because they have already reported to training. One other, Joey Kapszukiewicz, received notification of his acceptance to the U.S. Naval Academy after the ceremony on Tuesday. The other seven students enlisting to serve were seated up front during the introduction and opening remarks by LHS Principal Peggy Johnson.
“Thank you for coming today and most importantly thank you for raising these young people here today that have made the decision that ultimately benefits all of us,” said Johnson, speaking to the family members of the young men and women signing with the military. “They are the people who protect the freedom we all want and deserve. We don’t take lightly what they are doing as 17 and 18 year olds for, not only their high school community but, for the community at large in serving our country. We are honored to do this today.”
Johnson handed off the microphone to keynote speaker Mr. Dave Volkman, LHS Government teacher, LHS Class of 82, West Point Class of 86, and an active member of the U.S. Army 1986-2014. With family members; including parents, grandparents and some siblings, along with State Representative Jean Schmidt attending, Volkman addressed the seven students being recognized for making the commitment to serve our country.
He didn’t mince words talking about the difficult challenges they would face starting with “boot camp” and only getting tougher as they deploy on assignment to protect our freedom. At the same time, Volkman offered words of encouragement in the service they will provide, the sacrifice they will make and the lasting bonds of brotherhood they will form and forever treasure.
Mr. Volkman summed up his personal perspective as a military veteran with strong words of support. Following his remarks LHS counselor, Mr. Drews Mitchell began formal presentation of the Loveland High School Military Signing Class of 2021. Each was formally introduced by their recruiting officer or a representative of the military branch to which they committed.
CLICK HERE to view the presentation slides from Loveland High School.
Here are the names and chosen branch of service of the LHS Military Signing Class of 2021:
UNITED STATES MARINES (7)
Introduced and welcomed by Brock Vaughn, SSgt, United States Marine Corps
- PVT Cameron Clark – already a Marine completed basic training
- Michael Hassert: “It feels great. It feels amazing,” said Hassert following the signing ceremony. “I’m glad I could make my grandpa proud. He’s a Marine too; grandpa Walter Golladay. I want to be the best man I could possibly be. I want to be able to say I succeeded; I took on a challenge and I won. I want to live a life without regret. There is no higher success you can get than that.”
- PFC Dylan Hutzel – already a Marine completed basic training.
- Luke Loquist
- Cole Milnar
- Jack Schultz
- Christopher Timmins: “This definitely feels like an achievement,” said Timmins. “It shows we have come a long way; all four of my friends here also joining the Marine Corps. This is something I’ve always had an interest in, always wanted to do. Training has been hard and it’s going to get harder, but I’m super excited for the challenge. I can’t wait to see what it turns me into. The physical training is extremely difficult. You’re really tested as a person. With each and every step it just gets harder and harder. Once you get through it, you’ve proved to yourself you can do it. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Seven recruits to the Marine Corps from one class is a big accomplishment for recruiter SSgt Brock Vaughn. Normal at LHS has been one or two in a class year. Vaughn attributes communicating with the students at their level, keeping the explanation simple, not being too rigid, and just being up front and blunt with what they’re getting into. This is not something they should take lightly. Vaughn and the Marine Corps want a commitment when they’re really ready know and understand what it takes to be a Marine.
“Honestly, it’s building that relationship with them,” said SSgt. Vaughn. “It’s showing them exactly how we PT (physically train) and what kind of job opportunities they have. They see you’re not just trying to put them in the Corps, but trying to find the right people; who’s going to serve. This group was very outspoken, not timid, not afraid to talk to me. When they talked to me, they had a sense of respect. It was something that showed they were taking the situation serious. When I saw that, I think that’s where they stood out to me the most.”
UNITED STATES NAVY (1)
Introduced by Marlin Flanders, Petty Officer, United States Navy
- Max Flanders (The two Flanders are not related despite sharing last name)
ARMY – OHIO NATIONAL GUARD (1)
Introduced by James Medley, SSgt, U.S. Army, Ohio National Guard
- PVT Alice Puthoff – already served guard duty completed basic training “It’s nice to be honored. It makes it feel more real for sure,” said PVT Puthoff. “We go to training and it’s definitely different when your whole family is here, and friends. I’ve done some training. We have guard duty once a month; it’s two days. We’re there all day. We learn drills. It’s very fun. I love it. I leave June 1st for boot camp and then immediately after that I start tech school which is where you learn your job. I’m a cavalry scout so front line. Then I come back and serve guard duty each month. If they need me, they’ll deploy me overseas or wherever they need me.”
UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY (1)
- Joey Kapszukiewicz (Accepted into U.S. Naval Academy)
Mr. Harlan Hayes was honored just prior to the military signing ceremony with his LHS Class of 1961 High School Diploma. He was recognized for his military service in Vietnam after leaving Loveland High School in 1961 to serve. Mr. Hayes offered words of encouragement to the students signing with the military on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.
“Congratulations,” said Hayes. “Good luck in your careers. Special thanks to Peggy Johnson for bringing us all together.”
Yes, congratulations and good luck to all the LHS Class of 2021 Armed Forces signees. Thank you for serving our country.
CLICK HERE to view the full presentation slides from Loveland High School.