Medora FFA serves breakfast to veterans

MEDORA — A year ago, the principal at Medora High School suggested the school’s FFA chapter help organize a breakfast for local veterans on Veterans Day.

That event was such a success that the chapter decided to do it again this year.

On Friday, more than a dozen veterans found their way to the FFA chapter’s kitchen in the middle of the school.

Gary Fisher of Medora, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, said he thought the breakfast was a really nice idea.

“It means a lot,” said Fisher, who was a cook aboard the U.S.S. Pocono in the early 1970s.

David Baker of Medora, a U.S. Navy veteran who served on the U.S.S. Dubuque, said he was in the Navy from January 1968 to December 1971.

“I made four trips to Vietnam,” said Baker, who was born and raised in Seymour but has lived in Medora for 47 years.

“It’s just great,” he said of the breakfast that featured biscuits and gravy, eggs, sausage, doughnuts and more. “This is the second year in a row. I think it’s good that they show their respect for veterans.”

U.S. Army veteran Otis Bowers of Seymour agreed.

“I think it’s wonderful,” he said. “You can tell a lot of planning went into it. They are to be commended.”

Bowers, who served from 1969 to 1971 during the Vietnam War and is originally from the Medora area, had an extra special reason to attend.

“I have a granddaughter here,” he said. That granddaughter, Jenna Bowers, is a junior at Medora and an officer in the FFA chapter.

Agriculture teacher Adam Conklin, who also is the school’s FFA adviser, said the idea for the Veterans Day breakfast came about a year ago from Principal Kara Hunt.

“She approached me about doing something and the FFA doing it since we had the kitchen,” Conklin said. “So we just winged it last year, and it was a pretty good success for us, so we’re doing it again.”

He said the school purchased all of the supplies, but the doughnuts were donated.

Although his wife made the gravy, Conklin said some of the chapter’s 30 or so members helped out by preparing the sausage and eggs.

Junior Levi Emmons, who is the FFA chapter’s treasurer, cooked the eggs.

“I like doing this for all the veterans and having a chance to see all the veterans coming in,” he said.

Emmons also helped out with the breakfast in 2021.

“I did the pancakes,” he said.

Fellow chapter member Jordan Starr said he thought the breakfast was just a nice thing to do for all of the veterans.

“I think they really appreciate it,” said the junior, whose grandfather is a veteran.

The event also included a short program that featured the chapter’s officers conducting the opening ceremony they use during chapter meetings.

Some of the Medora STEM Academy students also sang patriotic songs and made cards to present to each veteran.

The chapter also had some help from a few other volunteers, including Malik Cook-Stroupe.

A member of the Medora Timberjacks semipro basketball team, he agreed to help out by serving breakfast to some of the veterans.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” he said. “I have some family members who are veterans.”

Although the training camp for the Timberjacks season doesn’t start until January, Cook-Stroupe is helping the Hornets varsity coach as the high school season gets underway shortly.