For the blue, white, and red

Rebel teachers share their military experiences and the lessons they learned along the way


Photo by photo submitted

SMILE FOR SERVICE: Roncalli’s own physics teacher, Mr. Ben Grimes, and technical theatre teacher, Mr. Phillip Anderson, smile big for their country. Department of Veterans Affairs education benefits earned by active members. It was created to provide a service to eligible veterans to cover the costs of their education and training. Another way his time in the Army benefitted him was with important lessons that would be brought back home with him.

War is defined as a state of armed conflict between different nations or states. Many of us will never experience war. The closest we’ll ever be to war

is the Chick-fil-A challenge against Franklin Central. Two Roncalli teachers, however, have been in the armed forces to protect our beloved country. Those brave Rebels are our physics teacher, Mr. Ben Grimes, and theatre director, Mr. Phillip Anderson, who both served in the Army.

Anderson’s story began in 1992, when he enlisted in the Army National Guard as a sergeant. After years of basic training, he decided to join an Officer Basic Course to earn the rank of officer.

From 2002 to 2005, Anderson served in the War on Terror in Iraq. The War on Terror began on September 1, 2001, after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center led to former President George W. Bush to declare war
on Al-Qaeda. Anderson served as the Commander of the 1538th Transportation Company. They would transport fuel to U.S. bases all over Iraq with a large convoy escort and security backing them up.

In 2012, he retired in Indiana with the rank of captain, the ninth highest rank in the Army, for his time served as the commander of his transportation company.

Being in the military benefitted Anderson in many ways. For one, it helped pay off college loans and granted tuition assistance with the GI bill. The GI bill applies to any

“Above all else, I learned discipline and being able to follow through with previously set commitments and goals,” Anderson said.

Grimes’ story began in April, 2002, when he was en- listed into the Army. He was inspired to join due to a large military family background, with both grandfathers and his own father being veterans of the Navy.

“The other reason I joined was the 9/11 attacks. I was angry and I knew I had to fight for my country,” Grimes said.

An interesting fact about Grimes’ story is that he was offered a position in a Naval operation where he would have worked on nuclear weapons in a submarine for six months. As cool as the position sounds, he turned it down because he would not have been able to tell his family about it.

During his service, Grimes received combat training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Then he worked in the 337th combat support hospital at Fort Harrison, Indianapolis. Later at Fort Gordon, Georgia, he was tasked with unit processing, where he dealt with copious amounts of paper- work, including wills and death notifications.

Grimes retired from the Army in 2008. He returned home with a new respect for authority and the satisfaction of meeting the standard.