Our Youth

Kearney Visits Wounded Warriors

Bishop Kearney H.S., Bensonhurst, held a Wounded Warriors assembly Nov. 20 to send junior and senior students on a service trip to Washington, D.C. During the assembly, Samantha Southard, senior, gave a speech, a portion of which is printed below:

As a returning member of the Wounded Warriors trip, I can personally say that this trip has given me an immense sense of gratitude toward our veterans and deployed troops. Whether we served lunch to the troops at the USO or distributed the pajamas that the Kearney girls had collected to the veterans at the retirement home, the one statement that we always heard was “Thank you.” Their gratitude and optimism was inspirational because, despite their encounters with warfare, the troops and veterans were never without a warm and welcoming smile.

One of the most influential experiences that we encounter on the trip is our visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Here, we see just how much these troops sacrifice in order to protect American citizens. There are men and women suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or have had body parts amputated due to their ordeals in battle. Nevertheless, their zeal towards our presence may be one of the most important lessons learned. During our visit last year, there was one crucial moment that the returning seniors and I remember distinctly. While at Bethesda, a soldier’s son approached our table. With a cheerful smile, the young boy chose a Snoopy the Dog stuffed animal. When we asked how his day was going, the boy grinned from ear to ear. He stated how truly proud he was of his father and hoped that, one day, he could be a hero just like him. It was in this defining moment we realized how much these troops sacrifice for our great nation.

Over the course of the next three days, we are anticipating many new experiences. I hope that the lessons we learn and the memories we create are ones we will cherish throughout our lives. Whether it is the inspirational stories we hear or the upbeat people we meet, this trip will have a permanent influence on our lives.


Wounded Warriors Kearney