Veterans Day: The power of family


Photo by Austin Hronich/The Simpsonian

by Dustin Teays, Staff Writer

Simpson students and Indianola residents gathered in Smith Chapel Wednesday afternoon for Simpson’s annual Veterans Day ceremony.

The ceremony focused on the fact that it’s not just the veterans themselves who need assistance while serving their country but also the families they leave behind.

The ceremony started with music from Simpson students Rosa Gude and Jacob Lay.  A row of veterans sat on the right side of the chapel and were acknowledged throughout the ceremony.

The speaker was Denise Lutsky, whose husband, Steve, is Inspector General of the 27th Airborne Corps and has been in service for 31 years. Steve is currently deployed to Iraq.

Lutsky was originally a counselor, but after the stresses of trying to become certified each time their family moved, she decided to become a personal trainer. She now has her national certification from the American Council of Exercise.

During the time Lutsky spoke, she touched on the difficulties of having a family member consistently serving overseas. She talked about how the holidays especially can be a difficult time to have a family member serving in the military.

“This won’t be the first Christmas we have not had Steve with us,” she said.

Lutsky also pushed back on the idea that it gets easier over time having a family member serving in the armed forces.

“It’s not a fair statement to say that you get used to it because honestly, you never get used to missing the person that you want there the most,” Lutsky said.

When service members are consistently deployed, it doesn’t get easier. The support system grows through repeated absences.

The ceremony honored the military service members of the past and present and also brought to light the immense support and sacrifices that the family members of service members provide: The raising of the family while the service member is away, taking care of all the personal affairs at home and getting the kids to school and events.

“Sacrifice can take on many different forms,” Lutsky said, explaining that military service can mean consistent relocation and uncertainty for family members.

In closing, Lutsky spoke about local veteran chapters such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“These are our retired veterans. Their service should never be forgotten,” she said.

Remembering all those that have served in the United States armed forces is what Veterans Day is about, but remember that behind every brave service member stands a family who supports them.