Meet your viking veterans!

Nandi Smith, feature writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






“Some people spend a lifetime wondering whether or not they’ve made a difference or not, Veterans don’t have that problem.”- Ross Howatt

H-F teacher Ross Howatt has led a life of purpose, not just as a teacher, but also as a Veteran. 

In 8 months Howatt will have been at H-F for 35 years working as a driver’s ed teacher, and supporting clubs such as the Christan Prayer Club. Much of Howatt’s life has been spent making an impact on the lives of students.

 However, prior to him becoming the teacher many know and love today, he was a man tasked with one of the greatest honors and challenges, serving in the United States Military.

Howatt had long known that joining the forces was always something that he needed in his life  He said, “I needed to be challenged, I wanted to be apart of something…”. 

Howatt reflected on what the experience left him with stating that he gained “an incredible sense of pride, self-discipline, patriotism, incredible love and respect of my country and where we come from where we are and where we’re going”

Howatt explains how his career in the military has connected to his life now. Stating that it gave him ”the self-disciple to continue to learn, to further my degree… I’m always learning, and I always have the discipline to want to learn more” 

After Howatt’s retirement this year he plans on teaching people the art of riding Harley-Davidsons and continue teaching drivers ed.

 

Emmanuel Allie is the embodiment of taking control of one’s life. His story begins in Sierra Leone and progresses once he comes to America to go to college at Huntington University in Indiana. Somewhere in the midst of life, he chose to join the Military.

His choice was cultivated by his want to travel and experience things outside of what he knew.

After training, he served in the army,  worked in an infantry unit and doing personal work as well.

His goal of traveling was achieved in his pursuit of the military as he served in Bosnia with NATO after the Dayton Accord in which part of his job was to be designated at the zone of separation dividing the Bosnias and the Serbs.

He also lived in South Korea for two years. When first learning of the trip to South Korea he was hesitant as he explained “I had lived in Africa, spent some time in Europe, lived in America, and now I’m going to Asia which is a completely different culture, and everybody says not too great things about the reception of African American soldiers” Allie said. 

Despite fears of not fitting into the culture, Allie had a great experience stating that he “…became interested in art, befriended some artist, and bought lots of artwork back… I made some good friends, and going in I didn’t like the Korean Food by the time I left I loved it”

Once he was done in the military Allie went back to school at NIU a school he would also end up teaching at prior to coming to H-F. From there he student taught at Naperville north until connections led him to his job here at H-F where he has been for what has now been 16 years. 

 

Larry Davis joined the Viking community as a security guard last year. Before coming here, he served in the U.S Air Force for six years. 

After completing a year of college he decided to explore the military. His biggest motivation for joining was “to travel and see the world”

After basic training Davis’s job was in law enforcement and security.

Davis was able to travel to several places around the world while serving. He was able to travel to South Dakota Germany, France, and Luxembourg

He says that after serving “Once you are in the military and when you get out even 40 years later you still have military tendencies” One of the biggest takeaways of those tendencies being attention to detail

After serving he’s continued by doing more law enforcement work, security, and policing for the Evanston Police Department.

 Davis reflects on his time serving saying the experience was rewarding stating that “I’d tell anybody try it… you might like it”