HONORING OUR OWN ...
It has been my honor and privilege to compile a group of 41 snapshots of men and women who have sacrificed a part of their lives in service to this great nation – a nation that was founded out of love, respect, and dedication to God. In collecting these pictures and brief summaries of their time and service I became acutely aware of their stories. In fact, if each of these stories is represented by a thread. Then as we weave these stories together they collectively form the fabric of America. Thank you, to our CAK veterans and active service men and women for your service to our country and for helping to form the fabric of a nation of which we can be so incredibly proud.
- Gwynn Pearman (6th Grade teacher)
Veterans and Active Service Members
close to the hearts of CAK
1. Josh Wical, currently serving in the Army Reserves, brother of senior Seth Wical. Josh married a CAK girl, Amanda Brooks Wical. Last year he came home on Mothers’ Day which his mother described as the BEST Mothers’ Day present in the world!
2. Conley Linton Ballinger, SFC, US Army, served for 8 years active duty in the National Guard and Reserves, From 1954-1957 he served during the Cold War and the Military Occupation of West Germany, 4th Infantry Division, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion in Germany. He has attended the Veteran’s Day Program here at CAK every year since I was in kindergarten. He is the grandfather of Allie Grace Ballinger, 4th grade.
3. Andrew Masters, Special Operations Medical Sergeant, brother of sophomore Sarah Masters. Andrew and his sister, Jenni, graduated from CAK. He is pictured with his wife, Abbey. He is currently serving in Afghanistan.
4. Charles Hudson, Aviation Ordnanceman First Class, US Navy, uncle of Isabel Silva (Junior) and Luke Whicker (Kg). He has served over 17 years in Desert Storm, Desert Shield, and Operation Enduring Freedom.
5. Nicholas Lovejoy, Specialist, Combat Medic, is brother of Adam Lovejoy (Junior). He is currently serving at Fort Benning, GA
6. Kay Lovejoy, SP4, mother of Adam Lovejoy (Junior). Mrs. Lovejoy served as an x-ray technician in the Army Reserves from 1976-1981.
7. Wayne R. Beaumont, Army Ranger and Sergeant, serving in Vietnam. Sixth grader Rachel Beaumont’s grandfather (papaw) is described by Rachel as the best papaw in the world! She also states, “He recently died. He was a good man and loved us all very much.”
8. Paul Estes,III, Airman First Class and brother of sophomore Austin Estes. Paul graduated from CAK in 2011 and is currently stationed at Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, New Mexico. He works on AC-130 planes as a Communications Navigation Engineer.
9. Dr. Joseph Weaver, Lt. Colonel (Retired) Reverend, served in four major military campaigns: Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia, Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia, Operation Just Cause in Afghanistan, and Operation Endeavoring Freedom in Iraq. In 2005 he received the Army Bronze Star for combat in the Iraqi Conflict. He is the father of sixth grader Maya Weaver.
10. Taylor Goodman, brother of sophomore Ali Goodman and son of CAK teachers, Charlie and Sharon Goodman, is presently serving in the Air Force at Hurlburt Field in Fort Walton Beach, FL. He is a mechanic working on the Spectre and Spook Aircraft.
11. Hershel McCoy, great uncle of Adam Lovejoy (Junior), died while serving our country during WWII.
12. Stephen Lovejoy, US Army, cousin of Adam Lovejoy (Junior), is currently serving and is stationed at Fort Bragg.
13. Kenneth E. Lovejoy, Jr., uncle of Adam Lovejoy (Junior). Mr. Lovejoy served in Korea during the Vietnam War.
14. Elisha McCoy, great-grandfather of Adam Lovejoy (Junior), served in the army during WWI.
15. McArthur Moore, Army Specialist, served during the Vietnam War. He is the father of 7th grader Nolan Brown and 3rd grader Mackenzie Brown
16. Ryan Cunningham, US Army Chief Warrant Officer, is serving his first tour in Afghanistan as a US Army Apache Helicopter Pilot. He is the brother-in-law of the Middle School Cheerleading Coach, Brooke Cunningham, mother of pre-K student Leighton Cunningham. He is also the cousin of Phillip Nichols (freshman) and Claire Nichols (8th grade). He always wanted to be a helicopter pilot, since he was a boy.
17. Ken Wright, Specialist, served in the Vietnam War. Pre-first grader William Wright said the following about his grandfather, “I’m very, very proud of him.”
18. Connie Florendo, Staff Sergeant, second cousin of Tanner DeBord (10th) grade, Harrison DeBord (8th) grade, Elle DeBord (5th) grade. She served two years in Iraq and currently serves in the Army Reserves.
19. Camilo Florendo, served 2 years active duty and 6 years in the Army Reserves. His tour included Allied Forces Europe, Iraq, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He received two bronze medals for valor and meritorious service while in Iraq. He is the uncle of Tanner DeBord (10th) grade, Harrison DeBord (8th) grade, Elle DeBord (5th) grade.
20. Kenneth Cooley, Col., US Army (Ret). He served in Panama Canal Zone for 3 years and 30 years in the military. He is the second cousin of 4th grader Allie Grace Ballinger.
21. Donny Cooley, SFC, US Army, served in Iraz, Kuwait, and currently serves with the National Guard. He is the cousin of Allie Grace Ballinger, 4th grade.
22. Eliseo Florendo, SFC, US Army National Guard, served 10 years active duty and 25 years in the Army National Guard. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was awarded the bronze star, global award on terrorism, & the meritorious service medal. He is the grandfather of Tanner DeBord (10th) grade, Harrison DeBord (8th) grade, Elle DeBord (5th) grade.
23. Gerald “Jerry” D. Daves, First Lieutenant in the US Army, is a disabled vet serving in Vietnam in 1970 and 1971. He is the grandfather of Lydia Heinz, 6th grader. The family is incredibly proud of his service to our nation.
24. Irene G. Norman, Veteran of WWII, where she served in the U.S. Navy W.A.V.E.S. (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). She served from October 1944 to October 1946. As a W.A.V.E. she did sheet metal repair on Navy fighter planes which had been damaged in combat. Mrs. Norman just turned 88 years old and lives in Knoxville. She is the mother of Amy Richardson, elementary Health and P.E. teacher. She was the keynote speaker at the Veteran’s Day Program 4 years ago.
25. Kenneth Earl Lovejoy, United States Marines, retired, grandfather of Adam Lovejoy (Junior). . He served during WWII.
26. Matt Roberts, 1st Lt. US Army National Guard Aviation Unit, a former student of CAK and son of 8th grade teacher Rebecca Roberts, served in the Iraq War in 2009 and 2010 in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Kiowa Warrior, helicopter pilot. In 2012 he served as Drug Interdiction on the Mexican Border. He is married to Jessica, also a 2002 CAK graduate. They have a daughter (Bella) and son (Austin) and is now a flight instructor.
27. Clayton Neal, LTC (Ret) US Army, had 20 years of active service including the Gulf War. He received the highest award Bronze Star now Senior Army instructor (JROTC) for a high school (for 8 years). He is Bryce Gilliam’s uncle (Kg).
28. George Lockett, served in WWII, was stationed on Guam, grandfather of Bryce Gilliam (Kg)
29. Will Pearman, US Army Ranger, currently serving his second tour in Afghanistan. He is the son of sixth grade teacher Gwynn Pearman.
30. John Gross, LTC, retired. Colonel Gross served in Vietnam as a Ranger, Paratrooper, and Infantry officer. He is the brother-in-law of sixth grade teacher Gwynn Pearman.
31. Larry Campbell, US Air Force, served during the Vietnam War, grandfather of 8th grader Lane Johnson. He was stationed in Thailand and in Vietnam.
32. Dave Warren, Captain, US Air Force, father of 7th grader Macy Warren, served from 1988-1991 during Desert Storm.
33. John Treadway, US Army, grandfather of Middle School Asst. Principal Ron Treadway,and great-grandfather of 7th grader Sydney Treadway, and Junior Mallory Treadway served in WWII.
34. Nick Moyers, Major US Air Force, (Ret), flew missions in Operation Just Cause Panama, Operation Desert Shield/Storn, Operation Restore Hope, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He received a meritorious service medal, air medal, and aerial achievement medals among other numerous awards and decorations while serving for 21 years as an aviator. He is the father of Maddy Moyers (7th) and Mackenzie Moyers (6th)
35. Don Yager, Lieutenant Commander, US Navy, father of first grader Haley Yager, has been in the military 25 years. He is in the Medical Service Corp. He served in Afghanistan and currently is a reserve office in Knoxville. Haley says, “I love my daddy.”
36. Luther Reeves, US Army, served as a foot soldier in WWII and was in Germany at the Battle of the Bulge, where many were killed. During this battle he was seriously wounded. He was moved to a hospital in England that was bombed and later transferred to France to recover. His wife did not know where he was or if he was alive for many months. All of his letters were read before they were mailed to keep the Germans from finding out American military plans. When he was discharged he went to his wife’s one room school house, picked her up from school, and carried her all the way home! He was the great grandfather of Rachel Lawson (7th grade).
37. Jess Cragwell, Captain, US Army, served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and is the Uncle of Taylor (4th grade) and Parker Dunn (2nd grade).
38. Baker Blanc, US Marine Corps and cousin of 7th grader Rose Carroll, is serving his 2nd tour in Afghanistan.
39. Robert Gregory, Commander, US Navy, (Ret), father of Davis Gregory, 6th grade. He was a nuclear reactor operator on submarines and later became a Naval Flight Officer. He was on a ship during the Beirut, Lebanon crisis in 1983. He flew reconnaissance missions in Desert Shield and flew during the evacuation in Liberia because of the civil war there.
40. Will Parrott, US Marines, Staff Sergeant, 4 tours (3 in Iraq, 1 in Afghanistan) He is now married and finishing his Business Degree at King College.
41. Gabe Cobb, US Marine Corps, just returned from Afghanistan this week. He is the cousin of Taylor (4th grade) and Parker Dunn (2nd grade).