Former Navy SEAL inspires Wood Oaks Junior High students on Veterans Day
Navy SEAL Shane Anderson delivered an inspiring Veterans Day talk to students at Wood Oaks Junior High in Northbrook School District 27 on Nov. 11. He told them it's important to work hard and build a solid foundation by doing the little things right -- like making their bed every morning. If they pay attention to the little things, Anderson said, they can move onto bigger things and find their true potential as they grow.
Anderson, who had five combat deployments in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, stressed that "we are one race, one human race." He told the students that the United States is unlike anywhere else. "There's no other place on the face of the planet that will afford you more opportunity, take care of you when you're down and help you out."
Anderson braved the Monday morning snowstorm in a several-hour drive from Wisconsin so he could address the students in their Veterans Day assembly and visit with them and answer their questions during lunch hours. Dr. Rob McElligott, Wood Oaks principal and a veteran, also spoke at the assembly about his experience in the U.S. Navy.
At the end of the assembly, students presented Anderson with a Wood Oaks Wildcat flag and a donation to the charity of his choice, the Navy SEAL Foundation. They raised money for the charity by selling small American flags.
Anderson's distinguished 13-year career as a Navy SEAL included serving as a medic, sniper, joint tactical air controller and canine handler. He currently leads Chicago-area Navy recruits who are preparing to enter the Naval Special Warfare Training Program. District 27 has gotten to know Anderson because he has been an integral part of emergency preparedness training in the schools.
District 27 schools have not been in session on previous Veterans Day holidays. But the District chose to hold school this year and take advantage of the enhanced learning opportunities that surround the occasion, as well as honor our nation's veterans.