Inside and Out

Veteran Teachers on Life In and Out of the Military


Katherine Dotter

Maj. Brent Elrod holds the American Flag before start of game ceremonies at the Homecoming Game.

Tyeisha Quarles , Editor-in-Chief

For Veteran’s Day, we’re giving thanks to our teachers that have served in the military. Veteran’s Day is an important holiday because we celebrate and give thanks to the millions of soldiers that sacrificed their lives to fight for and protect our country.

Government teacher Ms. Victoria Roberts, who served four years in the Air Force, said her family military history led her to serve.

“I actually came from a military family, so there’s been someone in my family who’s been in the military all the way back to the revolutionary war,”  Ms. Roberts said, “It’s just something that I needed to continue, so I did.”

Precalculus teacher Mr. Tim Tibai, who served in the Air Force for 24 years, was led to the military via draft.

“I was drafted,” Mr. Tibai said. “The government gave me an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down.”

Veteran’s Day festivities can include volunteer opportunities and special recognition events. Art teacher and Army veteran Mrs. Deena Edwards likes to spend her day with her family and attending a local parade.

“There’s a parade that I go to in our town,” Mrs. Edwards said. “So we usually go to that, and then just hang out with my husband because he’s a veteran too.”

In the military, soldiers learn lifelong lessons that can have a powerful impact on their lives.

“It’s definitely influenced me,” Ms Roberts said. “I teach history and I teach about wars and things of that nature, so you’re able to look at things from a different perspective. I think that as a veteran, and having served. It definitely makes you look at things from a different side.”

The transition from being an active solider in the military to a civilian life can be difficult, but sometimes, like with Mrs. Edwards, the first post-military job can be an easy switch.

“I didn’t transition from veteran to a teacher,” Mrs. Edwards said. “I transitioned from a veteran to a drill instructor at a juvenile detention facility, so it wasn’t like a big jump, but I would probably say the biggest difficulty is having a lack of structure.”

Ms. Roberts also found leaving a structured environment and lifestyle hard.

“The difficulty is that being in the military is very structured, and so it’s a very rigid set of rules,” Ms. Roberts said. “It’s a rigid way of life. You have fun, and you have things like that, but it’s much different than coming out and having things being a little more relaxed. And a lot less serious because it’s not life and death, and so it’s a different world.”