Student Council helps Vietnam veteran in his search for closure

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Student Council helps Vietnam veteran in his search for closure

Sydnee Jordan, Editor

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This one word best describes the hundreds of characteristics Jake Kemper has.

After a long two years of fighting for the country, Vietnam veteran Jake Kemper awaits his journey to Washington D.C. to visit the monuments and a search for peace. The Student Council had a goal to raise $1,600 to send a veteran on a Permian Basin Honor Flight and they earned this and more. They raised $2,000 which allowed one plus veterans to go on this trip.

On these flights many of the veterans go to find something that they are missing.

“I look for peace and some things that never really got closure,” Kemper said. “I hope that on this flight, I’ll have closure on some of these things.”

Kemper’s wife, EvadaLee, helped him get involved with the Permian Basin Honor Flight. He and his wife have been together for 50 years.

“I was teaching school in Lamesa at the time. At age 24 I was drafted into the military,” Kemper said. “My son was only one month old when I left, and I made it back in time for his second birthday.”

Kemper admits that once he arrived back home from serving he was not welcomed the way he would have been welcomed now. Many citizens were upset with the way the Untied States decided to do things, and they took it out on the veterans.

“The things that were going on in my life were terrible,” Kemper said. “Many people did not like what was going on. It was difficult.”

EvadaLee, his wife, said he was much older than most of the men who were being drafted at that time. She also admitted that he had health problems.

“He had arthritis, was legally blind in one eye, partially hard at hearing, and wasn’t in the best shape for service,” EvadaLee said.

Although Kemper was drafted into the military at a relatively young age, he is constantly impressed by what today’s youth has to offer.

“In today’s world, the patriotism is so strong,” Kemper said. “That wasn’t there in the Vietnam era. I see a lot of patriotism in the youth in America.”

Along with serving the country, Kemper also taught at Greenwood many years ago.

“I was the woodshop, basketball, P.E., and 7th grade girls reading and spelling teacher,” Kemper said. “I taught in 1972 through 1974.”

The Greenwood student body is always up for helping veterans, and people are constantly impressed.

“Today there is so much pride in our veterans. It is such a great accomplishment,” Kemper said. “Now it’s remarkable. I’m proud of the student body here at Greenwood.”