Lake Highlands Espree with Ret. Colonel Tony Wood and Exchange Club President Patrick Brown

Retired Marine Corps Colonel Tony Wood shifted from Exchange Club member to honored speaker Friday as the group celebrated Veterans Day. All over the country, November is recognized as “One Nation Under God” month each year.

After the Color Guard of Lake Highlands’ Boy Scout Troop 890 led the pledge and LHHS’ Espree sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” Wood posed the question, “What is a hero?”

“Someone who is scared but goes ahead and does what needs to be done,” said the colonel, winner of numerous honors, including two Distinguished Service Medals, a Bronze Star and a Meritorious Service Medal. “I never met a Marine who wasn’t scared.”

Wood spoke to the members and students on the need for moral courage, which he defined as “doing or saying what is right or needed, knowing it could be unpopular or even damaging to you.”

“Others sense moral courage in leaders, in parents and in comrades,” said Wood. “Courage is the centerpiece of leadership.”

Also on Friday, Mark Holmes reported on the club’s Packs 4 LH project, a collaboration with 100 Women of Lake Highlands and Knights of Columbus, which raised more than $41,000 – enough to buy a backpack full of healthy food for every student at Skyview Elementary. The groups will assemble more than 800 packs on Nov. 14th and deliver them to the school’s multicultural carnival on Nov. 16th.

“We’re going to put some smiles on children’s faces,” said Holmes.