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Familiar faces surprise with military background

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Fr. Dan Hall, history teacher, served in the Army and the Marines.

Fr. Dan Hall, history teacher, served in the Army and the Marines.

Fr. Dan Hall, history teacher, served in the Army and the Marines.

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As students move through their average days, many are oblivious to the fact that they walk among faculty heroes, such as Fr. Bolser, Mr. Steve Burks, Mr. Jim Williams and Fr. Dan Hall, who have served our country in the United States Military.

“I had no idea that so many of our staff have served in the military,” said junior Emma Zajac, “I think it is amazing that we have so many veterans who came back to teach.”

Fr. Bolser, the school chaplain, served the United States in the Air Force from 1956-1960. Mr. Burks, Director of Building and Grounds, served in the United States Navy and was stationed on the East Coast during the Vietnam War.

“I joined because I wanted to serve my country and have a better plan and better life for myself,” said Burks. As the top watch of the Fire Room, Burks acquired many skills that he has applied to his life after serving.

Mr. Williams, chairperson of the computer technology department, decided to serve in the Army National Guard, which allowed him to be a part-time soldier while continuing his education at college. Williams began his service as an army medic and rose through the ranks to eventually accompany the First Sergeant, allowing him to gain experience from the lowest ranks to the highest ranks.

“My favorite was having the opportunity to be in the largest number of US troops to return to German soil for a military exercise,” said Williams.

History teacher Fr. Hall served as a special forces officer in Vietnam for two years before sustaining an injury that sent him back to the United States. Fr. Hall went on to finish college and later join the Viatorian community in 1979. He went back to serve his country in 1990 with the Marines in the Desert Shield and Desert Storm missions in Somalia and Bosnia. Fr. Hall’s experiences in the military are the main reason that he chose to join the Viatorians.

“After you see that much death and destruction, you begin to think about the meaning and value of life, and you want to pass something of yourself onto someone else,” said Fr. Hall.

After struggling with the harsh effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the strong anti-war sentiment that was given to the Vietnam War veterans, Fr. Hall learned a valuable lesson about perseverance that he applies to his own life and to his students’.

“The only way you can lose is by quitting. The most frustrating thing, as a teacher, is to see a student quit trying because anyone can find success if never give up,” said Hall.

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Familiar faces surprise with military background