2018 Sioux Center High School Veteran's Day Awards & Recognitions


                               2018 Quilt of Valor Award Winner:  Ed Scholten

                      Presented by the Sioux Center American Legion Auxiliary

                               Presented by Jean Brandes & Marje Brunsting  

           2018 Sioux Center High School Veteran Recognition Award Winner:  Ted De Hoogh

        Presented by Sioux Center Community School District Superintendent Gary McEldowney






Navy Career of Ted De Hoogh

He enlisted in the Naval Reserve at Sioux Falls, South Dakota. His Boot Camp training took place at Great Lakes, Illinois. His first active duty assignment was the Heavy Cruiser USS Newport News (CA-148), which was Flagship Second Fleet. The ship’s homeport was Norfolk, Virginia. The second assignment was the USS Long Beach (CGN-9), a guided missile cruiser and the world’s first nuclear powered surface warship. The Long Beach was home ported in Long Beach, California. De Hoogh served in Supply, working in Ship’s Store Operations, along with General Quarters assignments on both ships.

Following two years of active duty he returned to training at the Naval Reserve Center, Sioux Falls. Various Supply billet assignments had him training at Naval Supply Centers or ships in San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Long Beach, New Orleans and Subic Bay, Manila, the Philippines. He has also trained at Marine Corps bases at Pendleton, Oceanside, California, and Camp LeJeune, Jacksonville, North Carolina.

First Class Petty Officer De Hoogh was selected as Naval Reserve Center, Sioux Falls, “Sailor of the Year” in 1987.

Following selection to Chief Petty Officer (E-7) his last billet assignment was to serve as Personnel Services Supply Chief for Fleet Hospital 23, a 500 bed Fleet Hospital, during Operation Desert Shield in 1991.

Chief De Hoogh is a Vietnam Era veteran and retired in 1994 with 28 years of service.

He has served on the Sioux Center Area Veterans Memorial Committee, and is a member of the Doornink-Brunsting Post 199, the American Legion, of Sioux Center.


     2021 Sioux Center High School Veteran's Day Awards & Recognitions



  Keynote Speaker U.S. Air Force Veteran & SCHS Social Science Teacher Todd James Dean Leffring

                                          First ceremony in the new SCHS Gym

                                             Approximately 600 in attendance

                                                50 Veterans/Family Members

                                                    60 SCHS Staff Members

                                                       480 SCHS Students


Mr. Leffring's Veteran’s Day Speech                  2021                           Sioux Center, Iowa


Good morning fellow veterans, family members, students, staff and community members  

When Mr. Town approached me to speak today, I felt overwhelmed, honored and not up to the task. 


Thus, I asked him for some expert advice; he simply said, “I know you will do a good job TL.”

Today, Mr. Town I am not TL or Todd or Mr. Leffring.  Today I am Sergeant Leffring!

After speaking with Mr. Town, I thought to myself, Todd, you were a Non-Commissioned Officer in the United States Air Force and as every veteran here knows it is the NCOs who like teachers are on the front lines, while the officers/administrators take all the credit.

Seriously, every person here has a collection of days or events that he or she for whatever reason will never forget: 

For me it was the day my brother Paul who was a U.S. Navy veteran was killed

The day I joined the United States Air Force

The days my three children were born

The day I graduated from Fresno State University with honors

The day I graduated first in my class from United States Air Force Fire Rescue School

The day I was fighting a fuel fire at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas in 1984, found my lower half of my body on fire and literally put out myself and continued fighting the fire.

The day I went up inside a burning B-52H aircraft at Castle Air Force Base as the lead rescue person

The day as a young man from Baltic, South Dakota I was deployed to Egypt in the summer of 1985 and found himself literally sitting on one of the pyramids of Gaza drinking a bottle of Coca-Cola, for there was no Dr. Pepper available

The numerous days I was awarded military letters of appreciation for my service above and beyond, receiving my good conduct ribbon, going up for senior airman below zone promotion, being promoted to sergeant and the list goes on and on.

The day I graduated second from Non-Commissioned Officers school at Castle Air Force Base

The day of 9-11.

The days all three of my children took the oath and joined a branch of the U.S. Military

The day my eldest son John was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in 2007, nor will I forget the day he returned home safely. 

The day my son John became a Master Sergeant in the South Dakota Air National Guard

The first time I became a grandfather!

The day I gave the 2013 Memorial Day speech in Sioux Center Iowa in front of a few hundred people and live on the radio, Thanks Ted for not telling me it was also going to be live on the radio!

That same day when done with the speech a WWII veteran on oxygen sitting in a wheelchair and survivor of the Battle of the Bulge was wheeled over to me and said “This will most likely be my last Memorial Day and I am glad they had someone give the speech who knows the true meaning of Memorial Day.  He went on to tell me about what had happened to him during the Battle of the Bulge.  I thanked him for coming and for his military service and reached out to shack his trembling hand.  He responded by holding my hand and placing his second hand on top, looked me in the eyes and said “God bless you and your family and thank you for your military service.”  I said, thank you sir it is an honor meeting you.  We found ourselves tearing up and whipping away our tears as we separated.  We touched each others hearts that day and for me, the rest of my life. 

The day I was awarded the 2015 Iowa American Legion Teacher of the Year with Ted at my side!

Standing here today in honoring our nation’s veterans, this community’s veterans is also one of those days I shall always remember.

Veterans Day is designated for “We The People” of the United States to honor our nations veterans and active duty personal.  Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance on November 11th, and it became a national holiday beginning in 1938.  

Thus, we are here on the 102 anniversary, of Veteran’s Day to honor this nation’s and this community’s veterans and active duty personal.

The father of our nation, George Washington once said: "The willingness with which our young

people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."

I now respectfully request ALL veterans who are able and active duty military present here today stand and be recognized!

                                                   PAUSE FOR APLAUSE!!!

President Abraham Lincoln once said: Honor to the soldier who bravely bears his country's cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.

Thus, I now respectfully request ALL family members of veterans and active duty military members stand and be recognized!

                                                  PAUSE FOR APLAUSE!!!

I stand here today proudly for having served honorably in the United States Air Force, in honoring active duty and veterans alike and for the honor of showing today’s youth the meaning of patriotism, honor, duty and sacrifice to “We The People” of the United States.”  For it is veterans like those here today who have served, fought, bled and sacrificed for “We The People.”


Thomas Jefferson is to have said: “The rights and freedoms Americans enjoy were fought for, bled for and died for should be eternally protected, treasured and never taken for granted.” 

Thomas Jefferson is quoted to have also said: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

The veterans here today know the meaning of these quotes!

Words will never be able to convey the gratitude and honor that should forever be bestowed upon our nation’s service members.   No matter how one views our nation’s involvement in actions around the world, we as a nation must ALWAYS---ALWAYS stand behind in full support of our active duty troops and veterans.


I respectfully request that fellow veterans, parents, teachers and community members educate today’s youth on the price it has cost and most assuredly will cost to protect and maintain America’s eternal flame of:


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.    


These principles are meaningless without those who are willing to fight and die to preserve them.


The veterans sitting here before us have served and are still serving this great nation honorably and deserve our eternal gratitude.

Mr. Town at one point you asked me how long I served in the U.S. Air Force.  I need to change my answer.  My fellow veterans and myself here today and across this nation are still serving this Great Nation and this Great Community.  We continue to serve as symbols of patriotism, guardians of We The People, as patriotic veterans community leaders, community volunteers, mentors, fathers, grandfathers and the list is endless.  So in re-answering your question Mr. Town when one joins the U.S. Military it is and will always be a lifetime commitment.

I stand here today looking at We The People, fellow veterans and proudly say I have served, continue to serve and without hesitation if called upon again I will to my best ability protect and defend this Great Nation.  


America is a Republic with democratic principles.  Thus, ultimate power rests with “We The People.”  It is We The People who are guardians of this nation as active duty military members, veterans and citizens.


America is made up of 340 million people, consisting of hundreds of different cultures.  America’s culturally rich diversity gives it a global perspective of what the World could be like one day. 

There are approximately nineteen million veterans and two million active duty personal today.  The combined number of twenty-one million military personal makes up less then 10% of our nation’s adult population.  Sioux County itself has approximately 1,700 veterans today.

No person, culture, community or nation is perfect.  Even though America is not a perfect nation, I challenge anyone to argue with me that this is not a GREAT NATION!

This nation’s birth and survival has been and will continue to be dependent upon the service and sacrifice of our nation’s military force!

The community of Sioux Center itself proudly supports its veterans as well as the veterans of this community actively support the community.  This relationship is evident not only in words, but in donations, monuments, events, volunteerism and leadership.

Simply look at the flag donated by the American Legion & Veterans of Foreign Wars hanging above us today, look at the two memorial sites here in Sioux Center, the charitable work done by veteran volunteers and the ladies auxiliary and so much more.  This ceremony itself is a prime example of this community’s patriotism, dedication and support to its veterans.


Historians and the majority of veterans here today will best understand the meaning of the following statement: We The people of the United States have the right to disagree with the military actions of our political leaders, but we must always, always, support and honor our nations soldiers past, present and future without question.  The veterans before you here today and all future veterans deserve this nations, this community’s gratitude, support and appreciation without question.  As I stand here before you all, I know without a doubt this community will always be a symbol of patriotism all other communities will strive to be.  


May our nation’s future soldiers be as stout of heart and as brave as those who sit here before us as well as those who have fallen in defense of this nation!  Your service, sacrifice and devotion to this nation, this community will forever be remembered.

I am eternally honored Mr. Town for you having chosen me to be the keynote speaker today in honoring this nations and this community’s veterans.  I respectfully request that We The People here today allow me a moment to look out at my fellow veterans, staff, students and guests for this is one of those moments in my life I will forever be thankful for having been in the presence of “GREAT AMERICANS” 

                                                         SCAN THE CROWD

Fellow veterans on be-half of myself and this community I want to thank you with all sincerity for your service in the past, present and future to We The People.  I would also like to thank my fellow veterans for allowing me to be a member of the most honored group of Americans! A U.S. Military Veteran!

Thank You!                


God Bless You!


           2022 Sioux Center High School Veteran's Day Awards & Recognitions