Local Vet inspires young people to serve

PLYMOUTH — A family history of service is having an impact.
Veterans Day observance at Jefferson Elementary has traditionally included a message from a local Veteran. This year’s speaker is an everyday influence on the school’s students.
Custodian Kirk Clark interacts with the students at the school every day, and coming from a family full of Veterans — his father was in the Army (82nd Airborne), two brothers in the Marine Corp, one in the Air Force and one in the Navy — he’s inspired a whole new group of young people to service.
“I’m going to join the Navy when I grow up,” said one youngster as he passed Clark on Veterans Day, another adding, “I’m going to go into the Army when I graduate.”
Clark is unafraid to share his love of country and service with the kids he sees everyday in the hallways at Jefferson and that influence is a strong one.
Clark enlisted in the Air Force on his graduation from school and looks at his role in kids’ lives as an important one.
“I know there are some kids here who don’t have a father at home or somebody to look up to,” he said. “I meant what I said in the ceremony today when I pointed to all of the Veterans who were here. These are people in your life everyday that you can look up to. Role models who have given what they have to help others. They really don’t want any special attention or a parade. They are just people that have done all they can do.
“My father has been my hero since I was a little boy. He was one of those guys.”