Mr. Shoua Yang, a 23 year veteran of the United States Army visited first graders in Mrs. Flooks' classroom at Wilson Elementary School to speak with the students about his experiences in the army and what Veteran's Day means to him. When asked by a student why he joined the army, Mr. Yang replied, "to get the bad guys." He explained to the children how his job as an intelligence and security officer involved studying the enemy in order to give information to his fellow soldiers.
Mr. Yang came to Sheboygan as a child, one of the first six families to arrive in the 1970's. Sponsored by a local church, he attended local schools, graduating from South High and upon graduation decided to follow in his fathers' footsteps, helping the Americans to fight the Communists in the Vietnam War. Mr. Yang's accomplishments include numerous medals and ratings; serving in Desert Shield, Bosnia, Somalia, South Korea, and various European, Asian, and African theaters as well as the US. Mr. Yang is the highest ranking officer at the Wolf Olson VFW Post 1230, thus serving as commander.
Mr. Yang talked to the students about being scared and related his experiences to what the children would understand, telling them "each year you come to school and have a new teacher so you might be scared, but you are brave and know that everything will be okay once you get there, so you do your best." That's what he did because he wanted to help the people and children of the places he served and to give back to the country that took him and his family in.
Mr. Yang finished his presentation by allowing all the students to handle and try on the equipment, medals, hats, and even K rations (soldier food) he brought along. The highlight of the session was when Mr. Yang presented each child with their own miniature American flag.
Thomas Yang poses with his father who is holding a framed picture of Thomas at a younger age wearing a camouflage suit.
First graders received miniature American flags from Mr. Yang and are holding and wearing various memorabilia he demonstrated during his visit.