Remnants of a hurricane didn't stop Norfolk Academy from paying tribute to its military service members and veterans during the 5th annual Military Appreciation Night.
The night is a way for the Norfolk Academy Military Appreciation Club (NAMAC) to highlight and thank current and former service members. Earlier in the week members of the club personally presented t-shirts and thank you notes to the many veterans who are on the faculty and staff at the Academy.
Approaching Hurricane Ian disrupted the planning for this year's ceremonies, as the varsity football game that activities are centered around was moved up one day. Still, on a windy Thursday, September 29, the celebration began just before the football game against Fork Union Military Academy, with students involved in NAMAC inviting all current and former service members onto the field at Wynne-Darden Stadium to present the American flag. The flag was about 20 yards long, and dozens of service members joined in as it was extended near midfield. That was not an easy task as the wind whistled, but the group still managed a perfect formation.
After the flag was secured, the national anthem played over the loud speakers. Then, Mr. Bob Needham was called onto the field for the coin toss. Mr. Needham is a retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander and has worked at NA since 1984. He taught physical education and coached multiple sports for more than three decades and now assists with equipment and facilities in the athletics department.
At halftime, faculty and staff who served our nation were honored, along with varsity football and cheerleading family members who are serving or who have served in our country’s military. As the Armed Forces Medley played over the loudspeakers, the large crowd gave its appreciation with applause.
Norfolk Academy won the game, 32-6.
NAMAC officers for this school year are Kaleb Doyle '23, Walter Frazer '23, Tatum Traywick '23, and Sydney Vest '23.
Here are those service members or veterans:
- Dr. John Alex, U.S. Navy, Father of Cheerleader Morgan
- Mr. Jack Ankerson, U.S. Army, Grandfather of Charlie Violette
- Mr. Charles Boone, U.S. Army
- Mr. Witt Borum, U.S. Navy
- Mr. George Bunn, U.S. Navy
- Commander Dan Bunting, U.S. Navy (Retired), Grandfather of Childers Winn
- Commander Paul Camardella, U.S. Navy (Retired), Father of Matthew
- The late Lieutenant Colonel Robert Christian, U.S. Air Force (Retired), Grandfather of Ryan Monnet
- Cadet 2/C Jasper Doyle, U.S. Army, Brother of Kaleb
- Mr. Neil Duffy, U.S. Navy
- Major General John Ellerson, U.S. Army (Retired), Grandfather of Kaleb Doyle
- Mr. Richard Essenmacher, U.S. Navy (Retired), Stepfather of Logan Pausch
- Captain Peter Flannery, U.S. Navy (Retired), Grandfather of Jack Clayton
- Mr. Rob Fleenor, U.S. Air Force
- Commander Martha Gentry, U.S. Navy (Retired)
- Mr. Hensley Griffith, U.S. Navy (Retired), Father of Zahir
- Rear Admiral (SEAL) H. Wyman Howard, U.S. Navy, Father of Liam
- Master Chief Sandria Hughes, U.S. Navy (Retired)
- Admiral Tim Keating, U.S. Navy (Retired), Grandfather of Matthew Camardella
- Lieutenant Seth Larson, U.S. Navy (Retired), Father of Cheerleader Camden Sokol
- Commander Victor Lepere, U.S. Navy (Retired), Grandfather of Peter Galiotos
- Lieutenant Colonel David Lyon, U.S. Army (Retired), Grandfather of Jack Payne
- Lieutenant Commander Jeff Martin, U.S. Navy (Retired)
- Mr. Glenn Miller, U.S. Navy
- Lt. Colonel Gregoire Monnet, Swiss Army (assigned to NATO), Father of Ryan
- Master Chief Christopher Myers, U.S. Navy (currently deployed), uncle of Seamus Roberson
- Lieutenant Commander Bob Needham, U.S. Navy (Retired)
- Mr. Roy Newton, U.S. Navy
- Mr. Nick Rahall, U.S. Marine Corps
- Mr. Robert Randall, U.S. Army, Great-uncle of Jordan Epps
- Mr. Joe Robinson, U.S. Army
- Mrs. Virginia Scofield, U.S. Coast Guard
- The late Dr. Mathew Tignor, U.S. Air Force, father of Sam, represented by Mrs. Beth Tignor
- Mr. Lance Toussant, U.S. Marine Corps
- Second Lieutenant Bascombe Traywick, U.S. Marine Corps, Brother of Tatum
- Mr. Jay Traywick, U.S. Marine Corps, Father of Tatum
- Dr. Sean Tyszko, U.S. Navy, Father of Cooper
- Commander Michael Violette, U.S. Navy (Retired), Father of Charlie
- Captain Thomas Violette, U.S. Navy (Retired), Grandfather of Charlie
- Mr. Shannon Walden, U.S. Navy
- Sergeant Dave Wallace, U.S. Army (Retired), Grandfather of Cheerleader Jaycee Wilson
- Mr. Earl Ware, U.S. Army
- Lieutenant Colonel Chris Watson, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
- Lieutenant Colonel JJ Wilson, U.S. Marine Corps, Father of Jaycee
- Mrs. Kim Yager, U.S. Navy
Thank you to all who serve our nation!