As I sit and ponder the future, I cannot help thinking back over the last 29 years at Concordia. I never expected to be here for 29 years. These years have been filled with laughter, joy, excitement and tears. When asked what I will miss the most, I cannot honestly say. I’ll miss Tim Lacroix playing the organ on chapel days, his talent and love music evident in every chord he plays. I’ll miss Mark Dolde and the simple, sincere way he speaks of Christ’s love for us all. I’ll miss sharing the joy of births and the pain of loss with my fellow teachers. I’ll miss listening to the band and choir spreading God’s word with their amazing talent. I’ll miss sharing my day with John Sheaffer and the fun that we have enjoyed at the expense of others, the practical jokes on Mark Koellinger and convincing new teachers that there actually is a swimming pool in the lower gym.
Most of all, I’ll miss the JROTC Cadets, all of them, even the ones who didn’t want to be a part of the very best Cadet Battalion in Cadet Command. There have been so many memories that we share together, from drill meets, rifle matches, robotics, and camping trips over the years. My life has been centered on them, hoping that they too will come to love the idea of what it means to be a Concordia Cadet in both name and deed.
There has been many victories over the years, proud moments that might seem small to many, but huge on the personal level. These cadets have helped me become a stronger leader, teaching me the meaning of Servant Leadership, love and compassion. I hope that they too have learned just a little of what I was trying to teach them.
I pray that God will always bless Concordia with His love and strength. It truly is a shining star in an ever-dimming sky. And to the Corps of Cadets, remember, no matter where you go, I’ll always be praying for you.
SFC Alan Conrad, USA Retired (twice)