Rademan shares his military experiences at Fatima’s Veterans Day Assembly

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor
Posted 11/15/23

WESTPHALIA   — At Friday’s Veterans Day Assembly, former Army E-4 Specialist Scott Rademan noted that he nearly chose to enlist in the Air Force.

“Back then, we …

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Rademan shares his military experiences at Fatima’s Veterans Day Assembly


WESTPHALIA  — At Friday’s Veterans Day Assembly, former Army E-4 Specialist Scott Rademan noted that he nearly chose to enlist in the Air Force.

“Back then, we didn’t have a whole lot of money, and I did not know why or what I wanted to do after high school,” said Rademan, who took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and talked to a recruiter. “Three of my buddies were like, ‘Hey, let’s all go Marines,’ and there’s nothing wrong with the Marines, but it wasn’t for me.”

Next, the trio suggested all four join the Army.

Rademan still wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. “I just knew that I didn’t want to go on to college, and the military gave me that option,” he said.

Upon enlistment, Rademan was initially supposed to enter the infantry, but the Army had other designs.

He was sent to Fort Huachuca in southeastern Arizona.

The fort was the home of the 10th Cavalry “Buffalo Soldiers” for 20 years and was replaced by the 25th Infantry Regiment in 1933. Currently, Fort Huachuca houses the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and the U.S. Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command.

Rademan was assigned to the fort to learn electronic warfare intercept and Aviation Systems Repair. “I didn’t know what that was, but it sounded really cool,” he said, noting basic training took nine weeks, and his Advanced Individual Training (AIT) lasted 43 weeks.

He wound up back in school despite his attempt to avoid higher education after graduating from high school. “That was okay, though, because it was all hands-on training,” Rademan said. “While I was there, I had to get top-secret clearance. I’ll never forget whenever my buddies would call me, they’re like, ‘Scott, what did you do?’ I asked what they were talking about. They said, ‘We got the Men in Black walking around, looking and asking questions about you.’ I said, oh, don’t worry. I’m just trying to get the top-secret security clearance, no biggie, guys. So, I got my top-secret clearance, went on to new stuff and schooling, and got stationed there at Fort Huachuca. That was, that was a good time. Arizona is Arizona. If you guys have never been to Arizona, go visit. People have different opinions about it. I won’t ever live there again. I prefer a little bit of foliage or a little bit of the seasons because they have three hots — it’s hot, hotter, and dear Lord, we’re gonna die.”

Rademan was stationed there for two years, during which time he went to unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) school at Fort Huachuca.

UAVs were introduced in 1995 but weren’t utilized much until the early 2000s.

After his training, Rademan was assigned to Camp Humphreys in South Korea. He was later sent to a garrison just six miles from North Korea.

They invested the time and the money in my training, but I never got to work on them,” said Rademan, ‘but anyone that’s been in the military knows we do as we’re told.”

He added that Seoul, South Korea, is the biggest city he’s ever lived in, and he could see the high-rise buildings in North Korea every morning when he arose.

Between his location and North Korea was the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Technically, the Korean War is still active, though there has been no fighting since the 1950s.

After that assignment, Rademan left the military, but his love of service remains. “Military was a great life,” he said. “I have friends I still talk to today; I have friends all over this country, and it’s all been because of the military. All these guys and ladies sitting here will probably agree with me. The guys that you’re in with, you have a bond for life. It’s beyond your high school friends; I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s something you can’t take away. You’re there for them at all times. And as the military calls it, or the Army at least, we always have our battle buddy’s back; always. If any of them ever needed anything, in a minute’s notice, I have their back.”

Fatima seniors Gavin McDonnell, Dawson Jones, and Jace Eisterhold, all of whom will enter the military after graduation, presented information on the “Missing Man Table” set up next to the speaker’s podium.

“This table set for one is small to show the frailty of one person,” they noted. “The tablecloth is symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms. The blood represents the sorrow of captivity; the single red rose signifies the blood that many have shed to ensure the freedom of the United States of America. This rose also reminds us of the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep the faith awaiting their return. The yellow ribbon symbolizes our continued uncertainty, a hope for their return. A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of their bitter fate — captured and missing in a foreign land. The salt on the plate reminds us of the countless volunteers and families as they wait. The glass is inverted because they cannot toast with us. The candle is used to represent the light of hope that lives in our hearts to eliminate their way away from their captors to the open arms of a grateful nation. At last, the chair sits empty because they’re not here every day, and the empty seat is for those still waiting for the return of their loved ones. May they never be forgotten. Thank you for your dedication to this country.”

Veterans Day began as Armistice Day when a cease-fire was signed to end WWI on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

In 1938, Congress approved an act to make Nov. 11 a legal holiday. In 1945, following WWII, Armistice Day was expanded to include all veterans, not just those who had passed away. Congress approved a bill in 1954 renaming the holiday Veterans Day.

“There’s a difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day,” said Rademan, noting the former honors all who have served, whether living or dead, and the latter observes veterans who have fallen.

The Marine Corps celebrated its founding on Friday, Nov. 10, one of two birthdays for the military branch.

According to the USMC History Division, the Marine Corps was established on Nov. 10, 1775, by the Second Continental Congress to support and strengthen U.S. naval forces in the Revolutionary War.

During the Revolution, Marines had fought on land and sea, but at the close of the Revolution, the Corps and the Navy were all but disbanded.

On July 11, 1798, President John Adams approved a bill that recreated the Marine Corps, providing the rationale for commemorating this day as the branch’s birthday.

The July date was commemorated between 1798 and 1921 as the birthday of the Corps.

Formal commemoration of the birthday of the Marine Corps began on Nov. 10, 1921. That particular date was chosen because, on that day, the Second Continental Congress resolved in 1775 to raise two battalions of Continental Marines.

Technically, Marines are actually part of the Navy, Rademan noted.

The US Navy was founded on Oct. 13, 1775, while the US Army was formed on June 14, 1775.

The US Air Force, originally part of the Army, became its own branch on Sept. 18, 1947. On Aug. 4, 1790, the Coast Guard was founded.

A native of Osage Bend, Rademan enlisted not long after graduating from Blair Oaks in 1997, the same year his future wife, Amy, graduated from Fatima.

They met in 2002 and were married in May 2004. Their children attend Fatima: Paige is a senior, and Dalton is a sophomore. Scott is Diamond Pet Foods’ systems operational manager and has been with the Meta business for 14 years. He is also a volunteer firefighter and a first responder for Westphalia Fire Protection District.

Rademan thanked veterans in attendance for their service and urged everyone to show their respect. “Any time you see a veteran, please shake their hand because the freedoms everyone enjoys in this country wouldn’t be here without them,” he said.

High School Principal Matt Verslues concurred. “One thing we can all agree on is that the veterans of the country have sacrificed for all of us,” he said. “We owe them all gratitude for the sacrifices made to give us the freedoms we have today. We’re able to practice freedoms that are not available in other countries. And let us not take that for granted. On Veterans Day, we focus on appreciating all those who have risked their lives to keep us safe as Americans. We take for granted all the freedoms that we have and the safety that we have here in this wonderful country. Thank you, veterans, for your service.”

Fatima’s high school concert choir and band performed several songs, and Jeana Abbott and Miranda Gabelsberger played Taps.

Veterans from Linn VFW 4756, American Legion Post 544, and American Legion Paul A. Hasenbeck Post 317 presented and removed colors.