Dr. Ryan Becker holds bears

Dr. Ryan Becker holds his children's teddy bears in front of a jet while he was in Afghanistan. He will serve as the keynote speaker for Sheldon High School's Veterans Day program on Monday, Nov. 11.

SHELDON—Around this time last year, Dr. Ryan Becker of Sheldon was preparing to be deployed to Afghanistan.

The family medicine physician at Sanford Sheldon Clinic was deployed to Afghanistan Dec. 5-Jan. 22 as part of the Nebraska Air National Guard 155th Air Refueling Wing of Lincoln’s first deployment to the country in more than seven years.

The stakes will be much lower for Becker when he delivers the keynote address at Sheldon High School on Monday, Nov. 11, for the school’s Veterans Day program sponsored the Student Leadership Team or SLT.

The program is scheduled to start at 1:20 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

In addition to Becker, other highlights include the band’s rendition of “Marches of the Armed Forces, a selection from the jazz choir and acknowledging a Sheldon student who enlisted in the National Guard.

“People are invited who have served and we want as many veterans as possible and if they want to bring their families and that kind of stuff too, they are welcome to join us,” said SLT member Tori Fjeld, a junior.

Following the program, veterans and their guests are invited to join the SLT and principal Sherrie Zeutenhorst for a dessert and coffee.

“They can just talk with us with about anything they want with us and enjoy some nice desserts,” Fjeld said.

“It’s like a visiting time,” added SLT member Madison Van Meeteren, a senior.

While RSVPs are not required, the SLT asks that veterans call the school ahead of time just so they know how much dessert they should have on hand. The entire program is student-led.

“We’ve been talking about it for a while and for a few weeks we’ve just kind of been getting things together and started organizing it,” Van Meeteren said.

The SLT kicked around a few names when trying to come up with a speaker before deciding on and reaching out to Becker.

“All the football guys know him from football because he’s always on the field with them,” Van Meeteren said.

“But he’s a pretty public guy,” Fjeld added. “He’s a doctor.”

For last year’s ceremony, the SLT only opened it up to veterans who are parents of staff members. They were able to attract a decent crowd but are hoping to see more former service members and guests this year.

“We want to get more of a wide variety,” Van Meeteren said.