KILLEEN, Texas - Take two steps through the front entrance of Shoemaker High School near Fort Hood, and the price of war becomes impossible to ignore. Seven gold stars hang above the doors, honoring seven parents killed in Iraq.
“It's really hard to buy the gold ones,” says guidance counselor Barbara Critchfield, “Cause you know they're not coming back.”
Critchfield has been hanging stars since the Iraq war began, blue (for family members in the military) and silver (for family members wounded in war). For some families, there's a star for both parents.
“We've got at least 2,000 that are up throughout the building,” she says.
Want to see quiet dignity and grace in adversity? Watch the girl at the end of the video, 14-year-old Meghan Nelom. If you're not interested in the video of her, which just oozes strength of character, here's what the article says:
Fourteen-year-old Meghan Nelom's dad was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. He told her not to cry if he died, that he was doing something important. So is she.
“He wanted me to keep on going to school,” she says, “So, the next day, I went to school because I know my dad wouldn’t want me to miss my education.”
She continues to learn under a shadow of war, in a school brightened by shining stars.
She'll be OK.