From the battlefield to the blackboard

Paying homage to the educators who served in the military for veterans day

Isa Luzarraga

“We were going through the Suez Canal, and we all sat together on the top of the submarine and grilled hamburgers and hotdogs. That was a lot of fun,” physics teacher and veteran Brian Yueill said.

While on a submarine, Yueill made many memories including the occasional grill-out with his crew.

Yueill served from 1991-1999 as an officer and nuclear engineer in a submarine in the Navy. He served because his family has a long history of enlisting in the military. Throughout the three years, he spent on a submarine, he’s been all over the world, from the Suez Canal to Israel. 

“A lot of my family served in the military, so to be able to carry on that tradition meant a lot to me,” Yueill said

Later on in life, Yueill taught a class on submarine warfare, he also frequently taught when his son was in Cub Scouts, which inspired him to become a teacher.

“I really love to teach and I have a lot of life experiences to compare what I’m doing now to other things in life, and there is no other profession I would rather be doing. My hope is that I make a difference to at least some students,” Yueill said.

Social studies teacher Keith Neth served from 1981-1985 so he could pay for college. Neth acted as an all-around deckhand and would often steer the ship. While serving, Neth stayed in Japan for two years and California for another two.

Neth went back to college for accounting and, a change of heart with what he wanted to do with his life influenced him to switch it’s major to education.

“I sat through mana;idfi

Neth went back to college for accounting and, a change of heart with what he wanted to do with his life influenced him to switch his major to education.

“I sat through managerial accounting at UNO and thought, ‘Is this what I want to do? Do I want  to sit behind a desk for the rest of my life?’ No, I just came back from the Navy, I saw the world and all of these cultures and experiences and it fascinated me, and I’d always like social studies,” Neth said.

Even though Yueill himself is a veteran, he texts his father and brother every Veteran’s Day, thanking them for their service, and he makes an effort to wear something patriotic. Neth also connects with other soldiers he served with who he’s still in touch with.

“Typically we’ll go online, and we’ll chat. We reminisce. That’s what we do. I mean, seriously, we reminisce,” Neth said.

Both are proud of their service, which  has instilled a deep sense of patriotism in them

“I joined out of not knowing what to do with myself in life. [Serving] gave me a sense of direction. It gave me maturity and it inspired in me this intense patriotism,” Neth said.

People who serve in the military have different reasons for serving, but no matter why they serve, they deserve recognition on Veterans Day.

“There are people who are driven to be service members; they want to be in the military. It wasn’t my first choice in life, but it’s the best choice I ever made,” Neth said.