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Friends and family provide vets strong bonds

Published: Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 12:43 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 1:27 p.m. CDT
Jennifer VanOosten watches as students do push-ups during a demonstration of what bootcamp was like. Photo by Chris Johnson
Jennifer VanOosen selects a few good volunteers Monday morning. Photo by Chris Johnson

Centennial Elementary School hosted a Veteran's Day program for students, area veterans, and their families Monday morning.

A variety of patriotic songs were performed by the students to recognize the veterans who attended the program.

The guest speaker for the program was Jennifer VanOosten, who completed her military service this year.

"If there is anything that can bring a family together it is over a decade of war," she said. "We are still strong."

VanOosten served for 14 years through the Marine Corp Reserves.

"When I first joined I was in the reserves," she said. "When I married my husband was deployed."

Shortly after her husband was deployed the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 occurred.

"I was activated and sent overseas," said VanOosten. "My first two years were involuntary, then I continued to serve after that."

Throughout her time in the service there were times when both VanOosten and her husband were deployed oversees at the same time.

"There is a bond that can not be broken," said VanOosten. "You knew there was family support. All our veterans need our support, both the men and women."

Through her time in the service VanOosten learned more about herself, her family, and her friends.

When she is asked about why she volunteered for the service VanOosten has the answer.

"You need to find what you are passionate about," she said.

After the speech, VanOosten asked for some girls to volunteer for a quick demonstration.

Channeling her inner drill sergeant, VanOosten joked that these students were going to demonstrate boot camp.

She had the students line up and do a few push-ups before having them stand up and salute the crowd.

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