Featured Posts
0

Stories Of Service From CB Veterans

I was listening to the song “Mr. Red, White, and Blue” by Coffey Anderson on Veterans Day, and as I was listening to the lyrics, I was thinking about the faculty and staff at Christian Brothers High School who are more than just teachers, but who are heroes. Teachers such as Mr. Robert Boriskin, Mr. […]


I was listening to the song “Mr. Red, White, and Blue” by Coffey Anderson on Veterans Day, and as I was listening to the lyrics, I was thinking about the faculty and staff at Christian Brothers High School who are more than just teachers, but who are heroes. Teachers such as Mr. Robert Boriskin, Mr. Bernie Eckel, and Ms. Loretta Kenney who have served our country

Mr. Eckel was a part of the United States Coast Guard, and while I was talking to him, I learned that his son served in Afghanistan and what his average day was like on duty. He would wake up and his regiment would meet at 10 AM. He would begin by getting the trucks checked and make sure all their equipment was in order. After they were set for the day, they would go to a village and work there talking to the civilians and making sure everyone was safe. While this may sound easy, there could have been times where they were under attack. Clearly, heroes run in Mr. Eckel’s family. 

Mr. Eckel in uniform.
Mr. Eckel’s son in uniform.

Mr. Robert Boriskin was in Florida in 1967 when he got a call from his family. He thought it was his mom checking in on him, but when he answered, he was informed by his dad that he had been drafted to fight in the Vietnam war. He was supposed to report on the 16th of January — Mr. Boriskin was only 19 years old. He arrived home from Florida on January 1st, 1968 to his family waiting for him. He spent those last few days with his family, absorbing all the love he could get before leaving for Vietnam. January 16th arrived faster than he was ready for. He recalls hugging his mom for the last time in his room and he could see the tears in her eyes. When he arrived at the induction center, his dad told him “fear will help you survive, don’t try to bury it.”

He wrote all of this down in a journal that he later turned into a book.

“Basic training was an odd mixture of physical exertion that was often satisfying and the complete loss of my ability to make choices that was frightening,” he writes. “Every aspect of my day was determined by the Drill Sergeants. The Drill Sergeants were narrowly focused, following a specific set of rules and working as hard as they could to both intimidate and mold the new recruits. During boot camp, one of the training methods they used was to get trainees to turn against each other.”

In Vietnam, he spent most of his time in a village working in an office. This is where he met many different families and learned their stories. 

“I had my work, my interactions, and friendships with the guys I worked with,” he says. “I had my walks between the compound and the building that often included buying food from the street vendors. I also got mail every day and from those letters I knew that the routine was not as simple at home.” 

While he was serving in Vietnam, his family back home were worried about his every move, especially his mom. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been on his family knowing their son, brother, and friend was alone in a completely new territory. 

Mr. Boriskin celebrating Hanukkah with his friends at Vietnam.

His experience in Vietnam was very different from the stories you may hear or the movies you might have watched. Mr. Boriskin was forced to grow up extremely fast, but he also learned a lot during his time serving in Vietnam. 

“I was fine,” He writes. “I had more of an interesting experience than frightful, had its ups and downs but it was now over, and I was ready to move on.”

Ms. Loretta Kenney Is one of the coolest teachers I have ever had. Not only is she such an incredible teacher but also an astonishing woman who always has a great story to tell. I learned last year that Ms. Kenney served in the Air Force. She served in the mid 1970s in the five years after college. She became a navigator and was commissioned as a second attendant. She did all of this in Sacramento which is now her home. After she “got her wings,” she became stationed in Merced, Riverside, and North Carolina, where she started refueling fighter planes, and KC 135 Aerial refueling tanks. She also flew all over the county, specifically in England. During this time period, there were very few women who knew how to fly a plane, but Ms. Kenney didn’t let that gender barrier stop her. 

Luckily, Ms. Kenney never faced any great trauma. However, she knew people who were seriously hurt and even died on duty. 

“It’s tough and it’s always so sudden,” she says.

Ms. Kenney learned many lessons while serving in the Air Force that she now shares with her students. Her wise words of wisdom and tough love are the reason why her students love her so much. She has gained the respect of many people throughout her life, and when you meet her, you can tell she never lets anyone walk all over her and maybe she learned that in the Air Force. 

All of these teachers are magnificent people and have touched the lives of many students here at Christian Brothers. The next time you see Mr. Boriskin, Mr. Eckel, and Ms. Kenney, thank them for their service — it truly means the world to them. While only one day of the year is dedicated solely to honoring our veterans, it doesn’t mean we can’t say thank you to them every day. To the men and women in uniform, from the past, the present, and the future: thank you and may God bless you. 

Share:
  • googleplus
  • linkedin
  • tumblr
  • rss
  • pinterest
  • mail

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/customer/www/cbtalon.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/slickquiz/php/slickquiz-front.php on line 59