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TCCHS student honors grandmother with essay
Posted On:
Friday, November 10, 2017
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130 veterans honored at annual program

One of the approximately 130 veterans that came to the 10th Veterans Day program in Todd County Central High School was honored by her granddaughter.

Kaia Barbee was this year’s essay winner and read during the program what she had written for the contest.

She dedicated her essay to her grandmother, Vickie Ogburn, and all the veterans there.

“Once again, thank you each of you for your service. I love you. I’m proud of you,” Kaia said while becoming emotional. “I also salute you.”

She then began reading her essay. She spoke about how many in the audience know how Veterans Day came to be. Then she addressed that across the nation Friday, many citizens and veterans are gathering together for similar ceremonies.

“To the students of TCCHS, you should recognize the values of all these heartwarming veterans, who have helped to make our country great,” Kaia read.

She advised her fellow students to take note of everyone around them.

“The things they see, the pain forever in their eyes,” she continued.

She continued, saying anything was learned from the war still being fought today, its courage and sacrifice. Kaia said it takes courage to risk a life.

The least civilians can do is honor the heroes, she said. They possess honor and bravery. They represent everything and fought for our freedom, which will still be here long after they are gone.

Ogburn is a 59-year-old woman who lives in Guthrie. She served in the Army National Guard from 1990 to 1992. She said when she signed up, she was 32-years-old and she had always wanted to be in the military.

Her children had grown up with their father in the Air Force.

So Ogburn decided to sign up for the Army National Guard. That way, she wouldn’t be away from her children long, which was important because she became a single parent.

She went through all the training and would travel to Erin, Tennessee once a month for a long weekend of work.

Ogburn grew upset eventually because she couldn’t patriciate in some of the activities because of a knee injury.

“I had to make another decision,” Ogburn said.

In 1992, she was medically discharged due to the injury.

“I always thanked God for the time being in there,” she said.

Because her husband was an Air Force veteran, they were able to travel the world to places most people had only seen on TV. That was the life for her children, she said.

When she was serving, she met so many new people and went on adventures of her own.

To her, it was all worth it.

“I still have to remember the fact that I made it,” she said, thanking God.

For now, her children and grandchildren haven’t followed her into the military, but one of her grandsons has mentioned he hadn’t ruled it out. Ogburn added that he has her full support.

She also encouraged the children coming out of high school to sign up.

“At least get a taste of it,” she said, adding that it was a way to see the world.

It also gives you a good feeling, she said, and gives you a chance to take a risk. Without it, she says she would have never known what she was capable of.

Ogburn then said her granddaughter, Kaia is like her backbone. She comes to Ogburn’s rescue. The grandmother is also thankful that her daughter and granddaughter live near her.

When Kaia asked her to come to the program, Ogburn obliged. She had no idea that she would be the focus behind her granddaughter’s essay.

“Thank God for her,” Ogburn said.

Ogburn also never thought she would be recognized for her service. She was left happy and surprised after the essay.

“It’s blessed my soul,” Ogburn continued.

She was also proud of Kaia and her own daughter. Ogburn said she was thankful, and there was no other way to put it.

Reach Meredith Willse at 270-887-3262 or

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