MIKE NIETO: Beecher serves those who served our country

2014-04-17T19:00:00Z 2014-04-18T00:21:49Z MIKE NIETO: Beecher serves those who served our countryMike Nieto Prep Beat nwitimes.com
April 17, 2014 7:00 pm  • 

Eugene Goers walked with pride, cane in his right hand and his granddaughter Sarah Goers holding his left arm.

At halftime of the Beecher-Wilmington girls soccer game, he and several veterans were honored as part of the "Wounded Warrior Game — Shoot for the Troops."

Its annual affair at Beecher and Goers was not the only one who walked with pride. The players, fans and parents gave a hand to those who fought for our freedom.

"I am really proud of him," Sarah Goers said. "They fought for our country."

Eugene Goers was in the Navy and fought in the North Atlantic in World War II. I would imagine he could tell the war stories. Here is a man who was about 18 or 19 when he was putting his life on the line.

"I am very proud of these girls for what they are doing," Eugene Goers said.

What took place Thursday was more than a soccer match, which Beecher won. It shows these young ladies are getting involved in community service.

They realize we need to do more for our veterans, who come home and need help. They were raising money and awareness.

Beecher senior Zach Wehling is graduating in a month and going into the Navy. He too was honored at halftime. But he said he was honored to be in the company of those who came before him.

"They put their lives on the line for this country," Wehling said. "World War II, Pearl Harbor. All the wars, they went and fought. I just want to serve my country."

That is what Martin Kagel did in the Army in the Vietnam War. His great-niece is Kaylee Larson, a Beecher goalie.

Donna and Patrick Leahy were there to show support. They have a son Colin, who is a Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps. Their daughter Maeve is a goalie on the junior varsity and their 9-year-old daughter Meg was also there as the family was honored at halftime.

"I am really proud of my brother," Maeve Leahy said. "This is a big thing for us because to raise money to help those who fought for our freedom."

No matter which branch or what war the veterans served in, they did it so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. The freedom to write a column about it. The freedom for any American to voice his or her opinion and if they want to change something, the right to do it via the electoral process.

Let's not forget those who fought for us. For what Compton and her program have done goes beyond raising money. It compasses what you should learn in school and from athletics. It is more than opening a book and reading about history. It is a chance to get involved and help others who sometimes are forgotten.

This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at mike.nieto@nwi.com.

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