Inside Villa Grove High School, Kyle Osborne is making sure his class learns about what's going on right now in the world around them. It's really important to just get involved and understand what's going on, but he also highlights sacrifices made for them to get there.
"I understand, from a personal standpoint, the sacrifices that veterans have made. Just because of what I have seen myself. I have a lot of relatives that, over the years, have been involved in the military."
Osborne has never served himself. Instead, he uses his personal experiences and stories of those who've served to teach several subjects and inspire his teenage students.
"Every chance you get, you just try to work it in there whether it's a statement or phrase or small assignment. A lot of times, it will bring out kids who don't say a lot because they know someone in the military. They will have something to share; something to say which is very inspiring to the other students."
That work doesn't go unnoticed. Just in the past year, the VFW has named him Teacher of the Year. He's also gotten two more honors from the state.
"Pretty exciting stuff to be awarded that by the VFW. I really respect the veterans around here, for them to give me that honor is very humbling."
Osborne says the real honor is being able to have those stories to tell and inspire a new generation.
"Some of them are 17 or 18 and may join the military. The friends they are sitting next to may be joining the military. For them to do that, I think, it's important for their classmates to understand what they might be getting into."
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