Community-wide Campaign Launched for Newkirk

Young 4-H Club Members Interview Local Veterans

The northern Oklahoma town of Newkirk is likely one of the most patriotic communities in the nation, at least based upon the activities of a number of the residents there. An example of one such activity is participation by a group of young 4-H club members in what is known as an Honors Campaign.

Newkirk 6th grade 4-H member Hannah interviews Walter, her grandfather and a helicopter pilot veteran of the war in Vietnam. The session was videoed by the State’s 4-H Youth Development Program which is incorporating the Honors Campaign effort into its curriculum. ff

The Honors Campaign Program was launched by the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame to recognize greater numbers of veterans across the state and to help Oklahoma’s youth better understand what it means to serve our nation through military service.

“I am really excited about this project,” noted Karen Dye, a local historian and key mover and shaker for the effort. “I think it is important to connect our students with men and women who protected our country. It is quite possible they may each have a relative that served in this capacity. When we did a presentation on the land run, we found that to be the case!”

Dye added that if the number of potential interviews becomes too much for the 4-H club’s 6th through 8th graders, other youth from Newkirk’s Jed Cord Students club 9th through 12th graders may be recruited to help out.

“The club was named after a great young man from Newkirk, Jed Hartley, who died in Iraq serving in the US Army,” said Dye, adding, “Club members pledge to contribute 100 hours of community service during their high school years.”

2019 is the Honors Campaign “pilot” year and so far Memorial and Booker T. Washington High Schools in Tulsa are also participating through the Junior ROTC programs there. The 4-H club in Newkirk is planning for this to be a community-wide effort carried out this summer. All veterans are being identified for video interviews by the 4-Hers.

Librarian Marcina Overman has offered the use of Newkirk’s public library facilities to host the student/veteran interviews, which could number quite a few. The video-recorded interviews will be given to the veterans as well as featured on a new internet site established by the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame.

Other communities are invited to become involved this year, and Honors Campaign planners prepared this message as the first of a series of newsletters to go to key participants, and with your permission will include you in the recipient list. Thank you for your interest. Below is a description of the Honors Campaign program from the web site

“Honors Campaigns are special community-based efforts to recognize local military veterans that are organized and managed by middle- and high-school students. Supported by the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame through its Ambassador program, an individual student, or a group such as a classroom, a 4-H or similar club, plans and carries the campaign through to its completion. A campaign may range from a single student interviewing a veteran, perhaps a family member, to a special recognition ceremony for veterans complete with book-length publications and internet sites. Awards and other recognition are presented to students for their work.”