Maj. Jon Stewart, inspector general of the Ohio National Guard, was the guest speaker during last week’s Veterans Day ceremony at Big Walnut Intermediate School.
Stewart reminded the students that 6.5 percent of all living Americans are veterans, but also that Veterans Day honors all veterans from Valley Forge through today’s war on terrorism.
“This is their day, but veterans are not the only ones making a sacrifice,” Stewart said. “There is the sacrifice made by families left behind during a deployment – mothers, fathers, wives and children.”
Stewart said he wanted to leave the students with a lesson in leadership, as outlined in military training manuals.
“Leadership is influencing people, giving them direction, and creating motivation,” Stewart said. “But the secret of leadership is — do what’s right when faced with adversity. Others are watching you, they will follow your lead.”
Stewart said leadership begins with setting a good example for others to follow.
“You do not have to be a veteran to be a leader,” Stewart said. “Just do what is right.”
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093