Eric Ward remembered on Veterans Day
November 17, 2010
By Sebastian Moraga
The VHS tape rolls, and the fading image shows a boy on the toilet. It’s a close-up shot, nothing dirty.
The camera follows his eyes as he turns right and sees an empty roller. Suddenly, it’s panic time. Then, the camera cuts to another boy in another room, playing with the toilet paper his pal badly needs.
The video was called “Survivor: The Bathroom Adventure,” and that boy playing was Eric Ward, back when he was a student at Chief Kanim Middle School. Ward made the video as a school project.
“A little goofy, a little class-clown, but not too bad,” Chief Kanim teacher Theresa Frank said of her former student. “That video epitomizes who Eric was.”
Ward, a Marine who died in Afghanistan last February, was honored with a minute of silence at his old school’s Veterans Day Nov. 10.
Chief Kanim Principal Kirk Dunckel pledged to honor Ward’s memory every Veterans Day assembly as long as he remained at the school.
“He was a lovable kid,” Dunckel said. “He came from a great family, his brother was in school here, too. It was really sad to lose him.”
The assembly also honored area veterans from the Korean War, the Vietnam War, World War II and Operation Enduring Freedom, such as Chief Kanim teacher Brian Tawney.
Ed Bentley, a Navy man, valued the fact that children speaking at the assembly mentioned the Korean War.
“I don’t like to see that war forgotten,” he said. “You see a lot of ceremonies, but the Korean War is barely mentioned.”
Getting the recognition from the children never gets old, the veterans agreed.
“It’s wonderful,” Rick Woodruff said.
Being in a school rubbed off on the veterans, who ribbed each other like children. Woodruff said he belonged to the Army.
“The only branch,” he said.
Rich Collingwood, a Navy man, replied, “The only branch of the Army.”
The men also took some time to reminisce a little.
Jim Posey, an Army veteran of World War II, said he graduated from high school and got his draft notice that same week.
Bob Hamerly said he graduated from Fall City High School in 1938, in a class of 13 students.
Someone pointed out, “That means you graduated in the top 13 of your class.”
Hamerly exploded in laughter.
“I never thought of that,” he said.
Sebastian Moraga: 392-6434, ext. 221, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.