Woodland High School honors Veterans Day with special presentation from Woodland veteran, Terry Richard

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Woodland High School honored Veterans Day with a special presentation by Vietnam War vet and Woodland community member, Terry Richard. Richard spoke to the Woodland High School student body and staff on Thursday, November 9, 2017, sharing some of his experiences serving in the military after being drafted early in the Vietnam War following his graduation from college.

Vietnam War Veteran and Woodland Community Member, Terry Richard, shared stories of his experiences serving in the military
Vietnam War Veteran and Woodland Community Member, Terry Richard, shared stories of his experiences serving in the military

Richard was assigned to the 25th infantry division as a public information officer, a wartime news correspondent, whose role was to write inspiring stories for the military covering the army’s newest draftees, respectfully nicknamed “grunts.” Richard accompanied various infantry patrols on many incredibly dangerous missions, and recalled one harrowing story, in particular, of a morning when incoming rocket fire destroyed the bunker he had been sleeping in just minutes earlier.

Richard also shared his experiences returning home to Vancouver following his tour of duty including how divisive the Vietnam War was at the time, and how, in the 1980s, he started experiencing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and dealing with Survivors Guilt. Richard visited a Veterans Affairs Center in Portland, one of 300 throughout the United States, where increasing awareness of Vietnam War veterans suffering from PTSD in the 1980s led to medical advancements in treating victims of traumatic experiences of all kinds.

Terry Richard closed his presentation by saluting the veterans in attendance and recognizing each branch of the American armed forces
Terry Richard closed his presentation by saluting the veterans in attendance and recognizing each branch of the American armed forces

Richard closed his presentation by introducing the other veterans in attendance and asking them stand as he thanked each of the military branches. The entire staff and students in the audience gave Richard and his accompanying veterans a standing ovation.

Woodland Public Schools respectfully thanks and honors all veterans, past and present, for bravely serving their country in the armed forces.

Following the presentation, students stood in line to shake veterans’ hands and thank them for their service.
Following the presentation, students stood in line to shake veterans’ hands and thank them for their service.