Minnetonka High School students and staff members honored local veterans Nov. 8.

Veterans whose service spans over 75 years from World War II to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, attended the program. Many of the veterans are local residents or alumni or are related to students. Many are also members of the  the Lake Minnetonka VFW Post 5919 in Minnetonka.

“This is by far one of the most amazing days at Minnetonka High School and it gives us a chance to say thank you,” Principal Jeff Erickson said to students.

The American Legion post and the school’s student government hosted the event.

“This is a great opportunity for us who are aware of the sacrifices of our country to learn more and connect with local veterans and learn more about our history,” said Superintendent Dennis Peterson. “Our military has been critical to our safety and security and has allowed us to exist as a nation and that continues to be true today.”

Peterson encouraged students to visit the high school killed in action memorial that lists the names and photos of nine alumni who all died during the Vietnam War. 

Each veteran was honored by conflict, and as each conflict was named a student government member placed a rose at the memorial near the stage that included a soldier’s helmet, boots and weapon.

Here are those who were recognized: 

From World War II, Donald Flekke (Army), First Lt. Bob Henderson (Army) and Private Mathew Rueey (Army). From the Koren War, First Lt. Steve Sikorski (Army) who also served during the Vietnam War, Petty Officer Gene O’Neill (Navy) and Leo Sitzman (Army). 

From the Vietnam War, Bob Iskierka (Coast Guard), Norm Chesser (Army), Mike Ramsden (Army), Petty Officer Larry Howe (Navy), Joseph Pollack (Army), Cpl. Wayne LaRoche (Marine Corps), Larry Sorenson (Navy), Capt. Cliff Laughlin (Air Force), Sgt. Mike Kasid (Army), Sgt. Dave Hanson (Air Force), Sgt. Howard Johnson (Army), Petty Officer and Corpsman Bill “Doc” Wenmark (Navy and Marine Corps), Petty Officer Third Class Doug Plocek (Navy), Capt. Steve Finch (Air Force), Petty Officer Jack Myers (Navy) and Sgt. Leonard Gudmunsen (Army).

During Lebanon, Grenada, Panama and the Cold War Lt. Mark Prusinski (Navy), Cpt. John Gogerty (Marine Corps), Petty Officer Second Class Christopher Rose (Navy) and Jack Myers (Navy).

During the Gulf War and the War on Terrorism, Sgt. Hank Goff (Marine Corps), Lt. Zack Ludvigson (Army), Major Rick Little (Army), Sgt. First Class Susanne Aspley (Army), Cdr. Tom Midvet (Army), Col. Patricia McCracken (Army), Major Betty McCracken (Army), Col. Sue St. John (Army), Spec. Tanner Wald (Active and deployed, Army National Guard), Staff Sgt. Christopher Groves (Active duty, Army), Staff Sgt. Sean Manley (Active duty, Army), Staff Sgt. Evan Hughlett (Active duty, Marine Corps), Cpl. Scott Ammone (Marine Corps), Bruce Palm (Army), Petty Officer Third Class Josh Wagner (Navy), Staff Sgt. Sean Manley (Army), Joe Muniz (Marine Corps) and Minnetonka Police officers Master Sgt. Mike Johnson (Air Force Reserve) and Staff Sgt. Armando Sanchez (Army Reserve) and Excelsior firefighters David Cole and Assistant Chief Pat McCarthy. 

Members of the Class of 2019 who will enter or have already entered the military were also honored. Those students are Suzanne Minch (Army), Dane Rosenburg and Jaren Simmer (Army National Guard).

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