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All-School Chapel held in honor of veterans
Categories: General, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School, Fine Arts
Posted: 11/8/2018

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The Whitefield community came together to honor our veteran family members and veterans from the community during the annual All-School Veterans Chapel on Thursday, Nov. 8 in the Athletic Center.

The service included patriotic selections from the Whitefield Concert Band as well as the Upper School Vocal Ensemble singing the National Anthem and the Lower School Chorale performing the Armed Forces Medley. A special selection, America, was sung by the Faculty Quartet that included Andrea Unsicker, Candace Daly, Cordie Swift, and Allison Duncanson.
Boy Scout Troop 554 presented the colors. The pledge to the American flag was led by third-grader Lili Bailey, the pledge to the Christian flag was led by third-grader Wilson Vonderahe, and third-grader Adaline Walker led the pledge to the Bible.

The keynote speaker was Sergeant Dwayne Ellis, SGM(R), U.S. Army. Ellis and his wife Annisha are the proud parents of Whitefield students, Tori, eighth-grade, and Joshua, fifth-grade. Their oldest son Dwayne II is currently serving in the U.S. Army with the 1st  Calvary Division in Fort Hood, Texas. Ellis is also the coach for Whitefield’s 5th and 6th grade football team and the owner/CEO of Mach 1 Security Service, Inc.

Ellis entered the U.S. Army in 1982 and retired in 2003. At the time of his retirement he was the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) G-4/Division Transportation Sergeant Major. During his career in the U.S. Army Transportation Corps, he held various leadership and staff positions, including team leader, squad leader, section chief, platoon sergeant, drill sergeant, first sergeant, and Group Sergeant Major. Some of his staff positions were equal opportunity advisor, instructor, battle staff NCO, S3 plans and operations NCOIC, division staff NCO and Division Transportation Sergeant Major. Ellis has been blessed to serve his country on five of the seven continents.

Ellis has received the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (eight awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (four awards), Good Conduct Medal (six awards), National Defense Service Medal (two awards), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Medal (two awards), Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, NCO Development Medal (four awards), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (four awards), National Defense Ribbon (two awards), the Presidential Unit Citation, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, and the Army Superior Unit Award.

In addition to the chapel service, there was a Wall of Honor on display in the Athletic Center that contained pictures and information on our veteran family members. A special reception was held after the service in the Barnett Gathering Room for our veterans.