Midway Veterans Day 2019
With Respect, Honor and Gratitude
Principal Jan Fickling, Assistant Principal LaQuana Aldridge, Assistant Principal Chris Bussell
Guest Speaker, Captain Stephen Hudson
Captain Stephen Hudson currently serves as the Chief of Public Affairs for the South Carolina Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base. As the wing’s public affairs officer, he serves the Wing Commander on matters of public information, command information and community relations for the South Carolina Air National Guard.
Originally from Lexington, he enlisted in the Air National Guard while a student at USC and served 15 years as an enlisted Airmen, achieving the rank of technical sergeant and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant through the Air Force’s Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base in 2013. He has deployed twice to Southwest Asia in support of both Operations Enduring Freedom and Spartan Shield. In addition to his duties as a Public Affairs Officer, Captain Hudson works in the South Carolina National Guard’s State Headquarters managing international engagements between the National Guard and Republic of Colombia.
He and his wife, Melanie, have two children here at Midway Elementary School. Parker is in the fourth grade and Peyton is in Kindergarten.
Midway says Thank You to Veterans Day Guest Speaker, Captain Stephen Hudson
Good morning Mustangs.
Let me begin with a heartfelt Thank You to Mrs. Fickling and the staff here at Midway for the incredible outpouring of support this school shows this nation's veterans each year at this event. I think I can speak for all of us when I say 'Thank you' to all of you.
Every Veteran needs the support of friends, families, employers and communities. Without your support, they could not do what they do. For that, we are all extremely grateful for your service to our veterans.
I also want to extend my thanks to all of the Veterans present here today. I am in awe of each one of you and your service and sacrifice to this great nation.
Today, we honor you: our nation's veterans. Through your service, you are part of a force, a family, and a legacy that continues to shape the world. American veterans fight tyranny and injustice, uphold freedom, and rush to render aid in the face of catastrophe. Most of all, veterans make the world safe for democracy, and fiercely defend our American
way of life. They do this today, as they have done throughout our nation's history.
Each one of you raised your right hand and swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from enemies, both foreign and domestic.
In the words of General Jimmy Doolittle, "There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer."
You have made sacrifices that you and your families know all too well, but you have also brought them pride beyond measure. Through your service to community and country, you continue to preserve our nation's liberty.
When Mrs. Fickling reached out to me several weeks ago and extended
an invitation to come speak, I have to admit I accepted with a fair amount of trepidation. I was not sure what I wanted to say to the kids here at Midway. Then I realized we could talk about Core Values.
Now to the children seated here, I understand your school teaches 21st Century Skills for Global Citizens. We too, in the military, are taught our service's Core Values. For the Air Force - it is Integrity First, Excellence In All We Do and Service Before Self. The US Navy and Marine Corps have Honor, Courage and Commitment. And the US Army's Core Values are: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.
In short, these values are what guides us through our military service; just as your 21st
Century Skills helps you navigate elementary school. Core values are the bricks that form a foundation of who we are.
There are many similarities between what you learn here at Midway and what the US military instills into us. Here at Midway the 10 skills you learn mirror our core values. I encourage each of you to think about what are your core values.
Here you learn to be Resilient, Creative, have Integrity, Accountability, Adaptability, Self-Direction and Self-Discipline. All extremely important traits that will carry you far in school and in life. Take these traits with you outside of school. Take them to your sports team, your church or at home. They will help you succeed in whatever you face.
In closing Mustangs, I want each of you to strive for excellence. I want you to take your 21st Century Skills for Global Citizens and achieve greatness. Go do great and amazing things today and every day.
Again, I salute to the veterans here today.
'Thank You' to Midway Elementary for your commitment in honoring these veterans, and
for what you do every day for these children. As a parent of two Midway Mustangs, I am
Stephen D. Hudson, Capt, SCANG
Chief, Public Affairs 169th Fighter Wing