Kuhn to AMS: ‘Do your duty’

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 9, 2013

Those attending Andalusia Middle School’s Veterans Day program learned that Coach Randy Kuhn is a veteran not only of the football field, but also of the battlefield.

Known for his volunteer efforts on the sidelines, Kuhn – a Lincoln Park, Mich., native – joined the military in 1986 in the Army Reserves and became a helicopter crew chief and served three years in the reserve and eight years on active duty.

“To take apart a helicopter, put it back again and then fly off in it gave me sense of accomplishment,” he said.

Serving in Operation Desert Storm with the 24th Infantry Division, Kuhn explained to the audience what it meant to him to serve in the military.

“War taught me a lot about myself,” Kuhn said. “It made me rethink my way of life, and it reminded me that way of life was worth fighting for.

“The military is the cornerstone of America,” he said. “For those serving in it, it instills values, duty and bravery.”

Kuhn shared the story of Pat Tillman, an NFL football player who left his professional career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. He joined the Army Rangers and served several tours in combat before he died in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Kuhn said students could learn from Tillman’s example.

“He turned down a three-year, $3.6 million contract to fight for our country,” he said of Tillman. “He joined because of his sense of duty. He can teach us that we all have an obligation to defend our freedom…because it’s been said that without duty there is no freedom.”
Kuhn and his wife of 25 years, Gina, have one daughter – Kaylee, a senior at Andalusia High School.

During the day’s events, participants were treated to performances of the AMS eighth grade chorus and band.

Veterans and their guests were honored at a light reception following the program.