Norwalk High School students are getting a more personal reminder of the sacrifices made by U.S. troops.
Pictures of several Trucker graduates serving in Iraq or Afghanistan are arranged in a display case across from the office. Accompanying the photographs are their name, rank, graduation year and any memorabilia.
Gerken Center aide Kim Gentzel came up with the idea in time for Veterans Day. Her 24-year-old son Eric, a 2001 NHS graduate, is serving in the Army in Iraq.
"I don't want it to be about Eric," she said. "I want it to be about all Norwalk graduates that are serving our country.
"I wanted the kids in the building to see that fellow graduates are serving and have served."
Norwalk High School Principal Bob Duncan said many students are looking at the display.
"I think they're really brave," freshman Kayla Schaffer said about those serving. "They're risking their lives every day."
Freshman Johnie Wilcox might have his picture in the display case in four years; he plans to follow the paths of his father and brother. Wilcox's father was in the Navy, while his brother is in the Marines.
"It shows that we actually care," Wilcox said, referring to the display case.
"It shows that we appreciate that they're over there," said fellow freshman Adam Frost, whose father served twice in Iraq with the Air Force.
Gentzel said she might have come up with the idea, but she credited Norwalk High School students with assembling the display.
There are currently about 10 pictures in the case so far, but more are welcome.
If one of your family members graduated from NHS and fought in Iraq or Afghanistan, call Norwalk High School at (419) 660-6500.