OTTUMWA — Evans Middle School will recognize Veteran’s Day with an assembly at 8:30 a.m. Monday in the school gym.
Local veterans are encouraged to attend and be recognized. Veterans are asked to contact Evans Middle School prior to the event at 684-6511. The public is also invited to attend.
The program will include presentation of the colors by the Ottumwa High School JROTC; the Pledge of Allegiance led by Elise Weilbrenner, student council president; “Star Spangled Banner,” performed by the Evans Middle School 7/8 band; “Power of One,” performed by the 7/8 chorus and “Taps,” performed by Nathanael Shoemaker. A local veteran will also receive an honorary diploma during the event. All veterans in attendance will also be recognized.
This year’s featured speaker is Capt. Randall Stanford. Stanford was born in Independence, Iowa, and was raised in the small town of Quasqueton. Stanford enlisted in the U.S. Army after attending Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo. After basic training, his first assignment was as a mechanized infantryman in Germany. After six months, he was selected to attend the Sniper School at Fort Benning, Ga. He deployed to Kosovo from December 1999 through May 2000.
He joined the Iowa National Guard in Des Moines after leaving active duty.
He deployed with this unit as a squad leader to Kosovo in 2004, served as a platoon leader as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and as a Troop Commander as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He now serves as the Operations Officer and Officer in Charge of the 224th Engineer Battalion in Fairfield.
Stanford received a bachelor’s degree in business from Grand View College, Des Moines, in 2004. He then attended Grantham University in Kansas City, where he earned his Master’s degree in business administration in 2011.
Stanford’s military awards include: the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (6th Award), Army Achievement Medal (8th Award), Ranger Tab, Expert Infantry Badge, Combat Action Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, German Airborne Badge and German Schutzenschnur Badge.
Stanford is married to his high school sweetheart, Julie, and has three children. They reside in Fairfield.