Mount Vernon saluted its own military veterans in a dedicated Veterans Day chapel in honor of the holiday. Members of our own community, who served in various roles in the United States Armed Forces, spoke with honesty and integrity, sharing their respective military experiences with Middle and Upper School students.
With solemn focus, students listened to personal stories, emotional testimony, and statements of pride, valor and honor – all delivered with humility. We are grateful to all who serve. Thank you.
Lieutenant Colonel Gailor Garner
MVPS Upper School History Teacher
Head Lacrosse Coach
- Enlisted in 1988
- Active duty 1989-1992
- Gulf War
- National Guard until 2016
“I knew from childhood I wanted to be a soldier and was able to achieve that passion in my life. I hope Mount Vernon students can find that passion in their lives and follow it the best they can. Find something that gives your life meaning and also serves the greater good. If you can find that honorable calling, you will also find a deeper and more fulfilling meaning in your life that no amount of money can give. At chapel, I was honored to share the stage with the other great veterans, they all gave so much to our nation. I feel my part was small and not very noteworthy, but am grateful for everyone’s appreciation for my military service.”
Combat Incident Analysis Division Operations Officer, NGIC, Charlottesville, VA: 2012 – 2013
Convoy Security Task Force Operations Officer, 2-183 Cavalry, COB ADDER, Iraq: 2011 – 2012
Infantry Battalion Rear Detachment Commander, 1/116 IN BN, Lynchburg, VA: 2009 – 2010
Cavalry Squadron Operations Officer, 2-183 Cavalry, Portsmouth, VA: 2008 – 2011
Deputy Director of Security, 116 IBCT, International Zone, Baghdad, Iraq: 2007 – 2008
Assistant Brigade Operations Officer, 116 IBCT, Staunton, VA: 2006 – 2007
Military Transition Team Leader with Iraqi Army, 2/278 ACR, Tuz, Iraq: 2005
Lead Regimental Liaison Officer, 278 ACR, Tikrit, Iraq: 2004 – 2005
Squadron Communications Officer, 2/278 ACR, Kingsport, TN: 2004
Assistant Squadron Operations Officer, 1/278 ACR, Athens, TN: 2002 – 2004
Cavalry Troop Commander, 1/278 ACR, Sweetwater, TN: 1999 – 2002
Scout Platoon Leader, 1/278 ACR, Cleveland, TN: 1993 – 1999
Platoon Leader, 2/11 ACR, Bad Kissingen, Germany: 1989 – 1991
Mr. Ron Hill
MVPS Varsity Football, Basketball, Track Coach
- Enlisted in 1975
- Served through 1983, with classified clearance
- Field Artillery Crewman
- E-5 Sergeant, Special Weapons Chief
- Sigma Alpha Gamma
Coach Hill enlisted as teenager. Brave and courageous beyond measure, he fought hard and rose up in the ranks. Continued to be dedicated to the band of brotherhood, he is also a member of the Sigma Alpha Gamma Military Fraternity, an organization founded to allow service-minded military men to have a true foundation of brotherhood and with that, achieve their highest potential both professionally and personally.
Mr. Bob Colia
- Enlisted in 1968
- Sent to Vietnam in 1969
- Also served in Ethiopia
- Morse Code Interceptor
Mr. Colia joined the United States Army in 1968 when he was 19 years old and was sent to Vietnam, where he would begrudgingly dig the very ditch that would eventually save his life. He turned 21 in the war zone. After his tour of duty in Vietnam was over, he served in Ethiopia for a year and half. His father was a sergeant in the Army for 28 years, serving in WWII and Korea. As a result of his father’s dedication to the country, Mr. Colia was also driven to serve.
Thank you to all of our United States Armed Forces heroes. We salute you.