Veteran, Brewer Alumni speaks at celebration ceremony


Approximately 500 people attended White Settlement ISD’s second annual Veterans Day Celebration on Nov. 11, which included patriotic performances by the Brewer High School band and choir and a routine by drill team members.
Decorated Army Sgt. 1st Class Markus Podell spoke about how important it is for every member of the White Settlement community to be a part of at least one child’s personal development and to encourage our kids to never stop dreaming. “We’re a community,” he said. “No one should be left alone.”
Sgt. 1st Class Podell, a 1997 Brewer High School graduate, talked about the impact so many individuals in the White Settlement community had on his life, including his little league coaches and teachers.
“My teachers always pushed me to be better than I was,” he said. “Making that one-on-one connection with a kid ensures his/her success.”
He shared stories about his experiences during his 12 years of service, which included more than six on Special Forces teams and several deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He spoke of the loss of his comrade Sgt. 1st Class Billy Brown, a 1994 Brewer High School graduate who was killed during combat in Afghanistan.
He urged the audience to always find the positives in situations despite the tough times. Sgt. 1st Class Podell spoke of the loss of innocent people during wartime and how they had to teach kids not to pickup landmines to keep them safe. “We’re very blessed that our kids are growing up in this community,” he said.