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10th Grade Academy Honors Veterans


Butler Tech sophomores and more than a dozen Veterans met for a transformative event in celebration and honor of their service as well as their collaboration on a special podcast series.

At the direction of Lauren McDaniel, the students recently read, “The Things They Carried” a collection of short stories about a platoon of American soldiers. To make the unit come to life, the students then interviewed, recorded, and published the stories as a podcast episode.

“I believe in the power of stories,” shared Lauren McDaniel, Butler Tech Language Arts teacher.  “I believe stories are the thread that ties us together, that keeps us connected to one another. Stories make us empathetic, they make us wiser. Ultimately, I believe stories can save us.”

As a culminating event, the students and veterans met at an event held at Lori’s Roadhouse which included lunch provided by the Culinary Arts students at Butler Tech. The meeting focused on giving the students an opportunity to chat with multiple veterans and listen to their stories, all while honoring their service to this country.

Among those in attendance was a Vietnam veteran, nicknamed “Angry Joe” who received two Purple Hearts for his service and will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery to honor his service. Additionally, World War II Vet, Fred, who spent some time in the Philippines at the end of WWII; and Jennifer Sherwood Gross, an Air Force veteran. Gross worked for the Surgeon General of the Air Force and is now the Ohio House Representative for District 52.

Lori’s Roadhouse has a permanent section of their restaurant honoring Veterans, so this is a common value between Lori’s Roadhouse, Butler Tech, and specifically this project.