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Veterans Day

"Phillip W. Schwengel, seaman apprentice, USN, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Schwengel of Route 3 Champaign, is serving aboard the cargo ship USS Betelgeuse taking supplies to the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. The Betelgeuse will visit ports in Greece, Italy, Spain and France before returning to the U.S."

Today, and every day, I am thankful for the men and women across our country that have served our nation in the armed forces. I have so much respect and admiration for those that serve, especially my grandfather Phil Schwengel, a Navy veteran.

My grandpa Phil served in the Navy in the late 1950s, on the U.S.S. Betelgeuse (AK-260). The ship was named after a large star in the constellation Orion.

This morning my daughters and I invited my grandpa and grandma to a special Veterans Day assembly. It took place at the school that my children attend in Champaign, Illinois.

Each year I am impressed by this all-school assembly, but this year it was extra special having my grandparents there alongside me. I also know that it was a unique opportunity for my children to honor my grandfather and their great-grandfather. When the Navy song was played by the school's band, grandpa stood up, and the whole crowd cheered. I can't help but share that I was consumed by emotion, and I can't deny the fact that I swelled up with tears because it was one of the first times I had the opportunity to cheer for him, and to recognize and thank him for his service. It was extra special to share that moment alongside my daughters.

I love that this school learns about, honors, and respects those who have served our nation. It was a special day to include in those honors my grandpa, Phil Schwengel.

As Veterans Day 2018 comes to a close, I thank all of those that have served, and especially my grandfather.

If you're looking to learn more about those who have served from the Champaign County community I encourage you to visit the Champaign County History Museum at the Historic Cattle Bank. They currently have an exhibit called When We Went to War that is really interesting, and worth a visit any day of the year, but especially on Veterans Day.


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