Alumni speaker stresses leadership at Carmel High School’s Veterans Day convocation
By Mark Ambrogi
Carmel High School had a special alumni speaker for its Veterans Day convocation.
David Kinyon, a 1998 CHS graduate and U.S. Army veteran, spoke on leadership to an assembly of CHS seniors and invited veterans Nov. 11. Kinyon is a Carmel police officer and a chief warrant officer in the National Guard.
“It’s an honor and privilege for me to come back here,” Kinyon said. “Some of the same teaching staff is here. It’s great to make that connection back home. Hopefully, it ties into the students here that they can play their part and they can make the difference. Leadership is dying out in our society and we need to light a fire under certain people. High school seniors are the perfect audience, because they are getting ready to step in the world and decide what they want to do, how do they want to impact their community. If you get enough people to be able to stand up and lead and have a good set of common goals, I think we can make the community, the country, everything better.”
Kinyon, who was active duty in the U.S. Army from 1998 to 2006, was an explosives detector dog handler in Iraq in 2004.
“I had a dog that helped me find bombs and weapons caches,” said Kinyon, who served as speaker at the City of Carmel’s Veterans Day celebration several years ago.
Joining Kinyon as a main speaker was CHS social studies teacher Pete O’Hara, who was an army colonel in the First Infantry Division and served in the Persian Gulf War in 1991.
“We were the first American unit into Iraq,” O’Hara said. “Before we sent our ground troops in, we fired the largest artillery preparation since World War II and I planned it. I put an X for every single target.”
O’Hara joined the high school staff in 2000 after retiring from the army and serves as head freshman football coach.
“I’ve been in every single one of these we’ve ever done,” O’Hara said. “It’s so awesome to see the veterans here. When we first did this, we had a few veterans but it has grown. Every year we get more and more veterans to come in. I think it’s a great thing. My dad was a World War II vet and it’s wonderful to see those guys.”
CHS history teacher Will Ellery organizes the annual Veterans Day program. After the convocation, the veterans were served lunch at the school.
The school’s Wind Symphony and Ambassadors provided patriotic music.