BLAIRSBURG - "Freedom is not free." was the message 1st Sgt. Price Moberly delivered to the students and visitors at Northeast Hamilton's Veterans Day program on Monday afternoon in the school gym.
Moberly, a 19 year veteran with the Iowa Army National Guard is attached to Alpha Company, 1-133 in Dubuque. Over the course of his career, he has served the United States around the world in Honduras, Ireland, Israel, Egypt, Qatar, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria and Canada. He also served in Afghanistan from 2010-2011.
"I was asked what Veterans Day means to me," explained Moberly. "It is a celebration to honor American veterans who are willing to serve and sacrifice for the common good of our country."
First Sgt. Price Moberly was the keynote speaker at the NEH Veterans Day program Monday.
Moberly is only a few years short of attaining 20 years of service and over the course of those years, he admits he has seen a lot of things that affirmed his beliefs.
"You don't realize how lucky you are to live in the greatest nation in the world," Moberly told the assembly.
He related his experiences in Afghanistan where soldiers would patrol in rural villages where families lived in compounds with no running water or electricity.
The children, especially the girls, were lucky if they were allowed to attend school, he said. More often, the children worked alongside the women who perform most of the manual labor, he explained.
"Freedom isn't free and soldiers provide worldwide protection so you can sleep at night," he said.
At the conclusion of his remarks, young Peyton Moberly shared his views on his grandfather's service.
"Papa does practices and looks for bad guys," said Peyton.
NEH Student Body President Kaylee Massman served as Master of Ceremonies and introduced Moberly.
"Today it is a privilege to say thank you," Massman said. "The price of freedom is high and we can't forget the people willing to pay for it."
Tyler Smith reflected on his family's strong ties to the military from World War I to the present day.
"They make sacrifices bigger than themselves," said Smith of all veterans. "They are compelled by their duty to serve with courage and patriotism. Many make the ultimate sacrifice."
High School senior Gabe Rapp reported that he has enlisted in the US Air Force and will begin his tour in September 2014, serving in ordinance.
"I feel it is my civic duty to serve our country," he said. "I have pride in my country and I look forward to serving."
The 4th through 8th grade choir, accompanied on piano by Sally Greenfield, sang a medley of Armed Service anthems. Nate Rapp sounded Taps at the conclusion of the speakers' program.
The Colors were retired by the Williams American Legion Post 633 Color Guard consisting of Wayne Wahlert, Bill Henrickson, Price Moberly and Harvest Avery, who is the first woman member of the Williams' post.