High school football teams honor veterans before taking field - WNEM TV 5

High school football teams honor veterans before taking field

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MERRILL, MI (WNEM) -

High school football season is in full swing, but Friday night several teams honored our veterans before taking the field.

John Goschka is a Vietnam vet. He was only 19 when he went to war.

"Right from day one we came under fire and we stayed under fire most of my time over there. Lost a lot of good men,” Goschka said.

The Merrill native earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his service. He said when he came home he was vilified.

"When we came back from Vietnam, we were snubbed and scorned, spit at. Called baby killers. We never had a welcome home,” Goschka said.

He said that lack of appreciation is why Veteran's Night at Merrill High School means so much to him and other veterans.

More than 30 veterans were given a free game and free food. During the National Anthem, they were allowed to take the field where they were honored.

"It's a small town. I like doing things this way. I don't need anything big,” Airforce Veteran David Hebben said.

The Merrill football players decked themselves out in camouflage in honor of the vets. Fans wore shirts with an American flag design.

"These veterans have sacrificed a lot of their life to be away from families to give us our freedom that we have, and I think it's important we show our support and thank them for a job well done,” Superintendent Sarah Kettlehohn said.

"It's nice to know people appreciate our service and what we did,” Goschka said.

Alma, Fenton and Dow also hosted similar events.

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