Salisbury Academy parent and veteran speaks of service

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 14, 2013

SALISBURY — Salisbury Academy students and staff joined together Nov. 7 to honor veterans and hear a message from a parent and veteran who recently served over seas.
Staff Sergeant Jamie Mabry addressed an audience of students, staff and special guests, including some veterans, during the school’s Veteran’s Day chapel assembly. A sixth-grade middle school teacher at Concord Middle School, Mabry recently returned from a 10-month deployment in Egypt with his U.S. Army National Guard unit.
“To me a veteran is a hero and even though I’m a veteran, I have heroes, too,” Mabry said. He spoke of his father and grandfather and of a fellow veteran Staff Sergeant Steinbron, who served with him in Egypt. Mabry shared how, as he did, Steinbron left a wife and children behind to serve his country.
Mabry asked the students to close their eyes and picture their lives with no cell phones, hot water, meals or bed to sleep in. “Soldiers give up all these things to defend this country,” he said.
Mabry shared the motto that motivated him during his time of service. “Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose,” he said. He said that clear eyes keep him focused on God and a full heart helps him do his best and give everything he can to a task.
He reminded students to thank veterans for their service during the holiday and all year. “Every time you see someone in a uniform you thank them. They have done something for you and for me that we can never repay. Remember that these men and women serve so that you may have all the things that you have today.”
Mabry is the husband of Salisbury Academy kindergarten assistant teacher Wendy Mabry and first-grade student Kaden Mabry. The couple has six children.
“Remember that these soldiers are somebody’s dad and mom, somebody’s husband,” said Head of School Diane Fisher. “They sacrifice for us all without ever knowing us. It’s really important and meaningful to say thank you.”
“If you were a soldier you would be away from your family,” said Ava Morris. “You’re doing it not just for your family, but for everybody.”
“Veterans sacrifice a lot just so we can sit here and learn,” said eighth-grade student Garrett Shermer.
“They leave their families behind,” said eighth-grade student Lizzie Fisher. “It makes me think that the stuff I think is hard really isn’t hard in comparison to what they do. They fight hard for us even though we are strangers. It makes me want to work harder.”
Salisbury Academy alumnus Michael Anderson and fellow members of the Salisbury High School JROTC provided the presentation of colors for the assembly, where the audience sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “You’re A Grand Old Flag.”