“Mr. Bob” Ortiz’s Honor Flight

“Mr. Bob” as he is affectionately known around campus is many things for our school community. He’s a substitute teacher (even for Kindergarten!), a weight room supervisor, and he helps with our safety initiatives. What many SCS families may not know is that Bob Ortiz is also a United States Veteran.

Sergeant Robert Ortiz served our nation in the Vietnam War in the Air Force. He primarily served his time in the war in Germany 1975-1979.

Bob and his wife Elva recently participated in an Honor Flight. Their flight went from Green Bay to Washington DC and back- all in one day. Honor Flights are a way to “Celebrate America’s veterans by inviting them to share in a day of honor at our nation’s memorials.”

After taking off from Green Bay, while on board, former Green Bay Packers players performed a “Mail Call” on the airplane.

“The former Green Bay Packer called out names and passed envelopes,” said Ortiz. “I was thinking, “Who’s going to write to me?” But my wife had arranged to friends and relatives to write a whole pile of letters thanking me for my service. It was very emotional- brought tears to my eyes.”

Upon landing in DC, Crowds of thankful citizens were there to greet them, cheer them on, and thank them for their service. That’s a far cry from what so many Vietnam Veterans experienced coming back from their service.

“I was overwhelmed in Washington DC at the airport. They had a big crowd cheering us on. That was great- especially for the older Vietnam Vets who were really looked down on when they first came back from the war.”

While in DC, it was a whirlwind of activities for the veterans. They visited war memorials, the Pentagon memorial, the Marine Corp monument, the WWII monument, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, they drove by the capital, visited the Martin Luther King Memorial, the FDR Memorial, and the Air Force Memorial. Ortiz found the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery to be particularly moving.

After a very busy day, the veterans were flown back to Green Bay where a massive crowd had gathered to celebrate them.

“While I was overwhelmed in DC at the airport, I was beyond overwhelmed by the HUGE greeting in Green Bay. It’s so rewarding to know that there are still that many patriotic citizens that care about us veterans and the sacrifices that we made for our country.”

Thank you for everything you do for our school community, Mr. Bob. And thank you for your service! We are so glad that you got to enjoy this Honor Flight and get the celebration and recognition that you deserve!

If you would like to honor Sergeant Ortiz and other community Veterans, be sure to come to our Veterans Day concert on November 11th at 10:00 AM. The event is open to the community (more information here).