Neal Johnson, a United States Air Force veteran, was the guest speaker at The Geraldine High School Veterans Day program Thursday. Johnson addressed a gym filled with students, veterans and their guests during the program. Johnson said his time in the service was not “an exciting time,” but that he learned something valuable during his time nonetheless.

“Always be ready,” he said. “Today, I speak with hope for America. Many of you here today may have been in combat. May I say to you, thank you for doing what I did not have to do. Because of you, our homes are safe and our country remains free.”

Johnson thanked the veterans and the people attending the program.

“I am so glad to be an American,” he said. “Thank you, veterans. And thank you all for all you do to support our armed forces.”

Geraldine Mayor Chuck Ables was in attendance. Ables said the Veterans Day program at Geraldine High School has been in place for more than 50 years and that everyone who took part in this year’s program is to be commended.

“It is always an honor and humbling experience to attend the Veterans Day program at Geraldine School,” he said. “It was started 52 years ago by Mr. Jay Galloway. It is encouraging to see the students participating in such a professional manner. The band does an excellent job, the singers, speakers and everyone involved did a great job.”

Ables said the attendees’ vigilance during the program was a reminder of how lucky he is to live in the town of Geraldine.

The students in the stands were quiet, attentive and courteous,” he said. “The faculty and staff were very accommodating as usual. Once again, I was reminded that I am fortunate to live in Geraldine, and furthermore, in America.”

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