The Duncan Banner

November 12, 2013

DHS students meet veterans at breakfast

Rebeka Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Though Jim Ragland is a World War II veteran and Abbie Stewart a Duncan High School junior, they found a connection between the two of them.

Ragland, a Duncan resident, flew B17s in the war and Stewart’s grandmother Carol Stewart built them. This connection was discovered while the two were talking during the DHS “Breakfast with a Veteran” program today.

“I’m happy to know someone who built the planes lives in Duncan,” said Ragland. “I’m going to do my best to meet her.”

Carol did the job of what was known as “Rosie the Riveter.” She worked in Seattle, below the city grounds so enemies wouldn’t know planes were being constructed.

“(Ragland) flew the same type of plane, so it kind of a coincidence,” said young Stewart.

Ragland said he doesn’t know if he flew in an airplane that was built in part by Stewart. In the midst of war, soldiers focused on their job.

“We were so busy, we didn’t have time to think about where they were made,” he said.

Breakfast with a Veteran at DHS is a good program, said Ragland. Meeting several students, who served and visited with the veterans who attended, was nice for him and his wife Leola, he said.

“I really liked (the breakfast),” said Stewart. “I hope more people come in the future.”

For DHS, this is the first such breakfast for veterans ever held as far as they are aware. About 10 or so veterans attended but several students from the Leadership class and Student Council were on hand to meet them.

“The kids were really engaged and involved in asking the veterans questions,” said Channa Byerly, DHS assistant principal. “For the first year, I think it went pretty well and it’s something we plan on doing each year.”