LHS staff who once fought for liberty now fight for education

Naval veteran Betsy Bennet with her fellow naval crew members.

Naval veteran Betsy Bennet worked in special forces (Photo: Supplied).

Alexa Harvey, Staff Writer – Being in the military is an honorable profession for anyone in the country. It is also usually a temporary career. After leaving the service, veterans can be found working in every walks of life. In fact, there are many veterans working at Lecanto High School [LHS] to educate and guide the young adults they come into contact with.

Social studies teacher Betsy Bennett was part of the Navy, and traveled all over the world during her years in the service.

“Throughout 2006-16 I was stationed in Jacksonville, Florida and Whidby Island, Washington. I was deployed to Al Udeid, Qatar and Kadena, Japan,” said Bennett.

Long-term substitute David Ferguson, who worked in both the Army and the Navy, also journeyed to many places outside of the United States.

“[I traveled in] the Navy extensively on board a ship in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. In the Army, I wound up in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Philippines, Germany, [and more],” said Ferguson.

Many people that served in the military have experienced life changing events. Training and field experiences teach in a way nothing else really can.

“Basic Combat Training [BCT] completely changed me as a person. Before that, I relied heavily on my parents for everything. I did laundry for the first time in my life during BCT. I learned how to eat very quickly and get used to being and living in close quarters with other people. I learned how to work with others to accomplish the mission. I came home a completely different person,” said Army veteran Crystal Hayes, who now teaches French at LHS.

Teachers who used to serve can provide students with unique knowledge and motivation due to their well-rounded life-experiences.

Air Force veteran John Novak is at the left standing with his fellow Air Force crew.

Novak also got the opportunity to travel overseas in the military (Photo: Supplied).

Military service has been invaluable to LHS veterans, and gave them an avenue to make a difference in the world.

“It means that I have served my country, that I have contributed something of myself for the benefit of all,” said history teacher and Air Force veteran John Novak.

Veterans gave their time and hard-work during their years in the military to defend America. They now carry on that selfless attitude by working to educate the next generation.