Marine Veteran, Chaplain Shares His Story at Veterans Day Assembly
The Lower School gathered together on November 10 to honor our nation’s veterans in the annual Veterans Day Assembly (Watch a clip of the assembly here). The St. Andrew’s Girl Scouts and Daisies marched the U.S. flag in for the pledge of allegiance and national anthem to begin the ceremony, followed by the Boy Scouts, who marched each military branch’s flag in to the tune of their respective anthems.
Students sang "I Remember You" by Teresa Jennings before taking turns proudly introducing their veteran family members and friends to the audience, with a round of applause for each veteran’s service.
The Rev. David Peters, a Marine who served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army, spoke to the audience about his time deployed in Iraq in 2006. He recalled a helicopter ride in which he and his friend were preparing to crash, and he said, “As I looked at my friend sitting across from me, I knew he would be there for me, no matter what, and I would be there for him.”
Having served as a chaplain at Walter Reed hospital, Rev. Peters added, “Breaking bread together and sharing stories is one of the ways we heal the invisible wounds of war. As a veteran, now that I’ve come home from war, I’ve spent my career being a part of that healing process for veterans.” He encouraged students to ask veterans in their lives to share their stories with them.
St. Andrew’s Chaplain Ashley Brandon led a prayer for veterans: “For those who have fought for our freedom, for those who laid down their lives for others, for those who have borne suffering of mind and body, for those who have brought their best gifts to times of need.” She also reminded students that they can honor veterans throughout the year - not just on Veterans Day - by thanking them for their service whenever they see them.
The service ended with the audience singing “Let There Be Peace On Earth,” and was followed by a reception for our veteran guests in Rollins Library.
About The Rev. David Peters
David W. Peters enlisted in the Marine Corps the day after his high school graduation. After his enlistment ended, he attended theological seminary, and worked as a minister. Shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, he was commissioned as a chaplain in the US Army. He served as the battalion chaplain for the 62nd Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy) at Fort Hood, Texas, 2004-2007, which included his deployment to Iraq in 2006. After Iraq he also served as a chaplain clinician in the amputee, orthopedic, neuroscience, and psychological wards at Walter Reed. Peters has also worked as a hospital chaplain, and currently serves as the associate rector at St. Marks Episcopal Church in Austin. He is the founder of the Episcopal Veterans Fellowship, and author of two books and numerous articles.
Located in Austin, Texas, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private co-ed elementary, middle and high school for grades K-12. Students benefit from dedicated faculty, a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.