Over the last 3 years Senator Rich Funke (R,C,I-Fairport) has partnered with the History Channel and Spectrum to host the annual Take a Veteran to School Program. This year Funke is hosting the event at Honeoye Falls-Lima Middle School to celebrate veterans & bring history to life in the classroom.
Take a Veteran to School is a nationwide partnership between the History Channel and cable providers, like Spectrum, to strengthen ties between students and local veterans, bringing a different perspective of history through the eyes of a veteran.
“I look forward to this event every year. As we approach Veterans Day, it’s a unique opportunity to be able to watch the interactions between the students and the panel of Veterans we have here today,” said Funke. “I can’t think of a better way to honor those who have selflessly served our nation than by giving these outstanding local veterans an opportunity to inspire the next generation. I’m proud to be partnering with the History Channel and Spectrum to bring such a shining example of patriotism, strength and determination to the classroom.”
In advance of Veterans Day is this weekend, Funke hosted the event to recognize and celebrate the contributions made by all veterans, to inspire young people of all ages. This year’s panel included U.S. Army veteran Jeremy Nichols, U.S. Army veteran Michael Buckpitt, and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Roderick Castle. The panel took the opportunity to share their personal experiences and ended with a question and answer segment.
“Spectrum is honored to partner with Senator Funke and HISTORY to bring Take a Vet to School Day to Honeoye Falls-Lima Middle School this year,” said Camille Joseph-Goldman, Regional Vice President of Government Affairs for Charter Communications. “We appreciate the opportunity to thank veterans for their service to our country, and we think it’s important to connect veterans with students to share stories and experiences.”
Jeremy Nichols is a highly decorated U.S. Army Veteran who was deployed several times during his military career. He graduated from Granada High School in June of 2003 and soon entered into the Army, and completed his basic training and Military Police school at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. He was stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia, 3rd Infantry Division in January 2004. Deployed to Baghdad, Iraq from January 2005 - January 2006; to Kandahar, Afghanistan from August 2006 - December 2006; and to Paktia Province, Afghanistan from April 2008 - July 2009. After Jeremy’s deployment he achieved the rank of Sergeant (E-5). He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in September of 2009 upon completion of contract. Soon after leaving the military, Nichols enrolled at Monroe county Community College (MCC)C for 2-year degree in September 2009 and followed at RIT for 4-year degree in 2011. He graduated from RIT with High Honors in 2013 with Bachelor's degree in Business Management.
Michael Buckpitt is a native Rochestarian who graduated from the Aquinas Institute in 1993. After high school, Buckpitt enlisted in the US Army as an Armor Tank Crewman stationed at Ft. Carson, Colorado for the entirety of his enlistment. After the military, he continued his education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where he earned a B.A in History and Secondary Education. After graduation, he remained in North Carolina and spent seven years as a high school history teacher and varsity soccer coach. He moved back to Rochester in 2010 and became the Program Manager for CompeerCORPS, a program that provides social opportunities that aid in the transition process for area Veterans. Buckpitt has developed a strong passion for Veterans in our area and has made it his life work to make a difference in their lives. This passion for Veterans helped Michael Buckpitt earn the 2017 Rochester Veterans Business Council’s Member of the Year Award.
Roderick Castle began his work at Veterans Outreach center in 2013. As a Marine Corps veteran, serving from 1994-1999. Castle is aware of the importance of finding a path. “I try to model a balance between my creative, military, and civilian selves and I have much gratitude for the opportunity to use my life experiences in the support of others,” said Castle. He has a Master of Science degree from Nazareth College’s Creative Arts Therapy program and has previously held positions at The Villa of Hope, and Hillside Children’s Center. He has over 15 years of experience in residential psychiatric treatment, trauma informed care, crisis management, and family and community mental health.