The Reason Behind the Ritual

November 2, 2016, (Independence, IA) Before every game, meet or match, the Mustang fans, coaches and players stand with their hand on their heart for the playing of the national anthem. We all stand and pay our respects to the flag, the country and most importantly to our veterans, but do our students really understand the reason behind this ritual?

After seeing a video online of the Virginia Tech Men’s Basketball team meeting veterans, Mr. Hupke, Assistant Principal at the Jr./Sr. High, had a similar idea in mind to make sure the ICSD students and players understood why we stand in honor of the national anthem before each event. Mr. Hupke worked with the local VFW and the Mustang Time leaders to help get in touch with local veterans that were willing to donate their time and speak to our students.

On October 31st, a group of 30 local veterans visited the Jr./Sr. High school during Mustang time. The veterans visited classrooms where students learned about them and heard their story; and what the flag and national anthem means to them. They were also able to ask any questions they had.

After visiting with the students the veterans had time for some refreshments.

The Independence Community School District would like to send out a special thank you to all of the veterans who joined us for Mustang Time. Thank you for your time that you shared with the students and most importantly, thank you for your service.

The following veterans joined us:
Roger Allen                 Ken Cole                      Bill Davis
Bob Hughes                 Dave Brace                 Dawn Runde
Jim Lawler                   Greg Gates                  Shawn Bohanan
Mitch McGraw            Jim McGrath               Linda Kress
Dennis Ham                Tom Short                   Vince Higgins
Glen Mills                    Jim Beatty                   Ivan Appleby
Jerry Robinson            Brett Schomer             Larry Craney
Dick Weise                  Don Shonka                 Bill Davis
Mike Smock                Gary McClintock         Tex Pentacost (and wife Anna Mae)
Clayton Ohrt               Bill Isham
Tim Nichols                 Doug Beier

Principal Howard states, “What a great turnout and activity for all; veterans, staff and students. I was very proud today to be the son of a Navy veteran and the principal at Independence Jr./Sr. High School.”

For more information about the Independence Community School District, please call 319-334-7400 or visit their website at



Tex and Anna Mae Pentacost speak to Mrs. Juhl’s and Mr. Shannon’s class.


Veterans gather for Mustang Time.

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