By Kayleigh Rahn
Maj. Gen. William Enyart served in or visited more than 30 countries on five continents and commanded more than 13,000 soldiers in the Illinois National Guard, though he traces his family back to Tuscola where his parents graduated from high school and he attended school until the seventh grade.
Enyart retired from military service in 2012 after a 36-year military career including active duty service in the Air Force and nearly 30 years in the Army National Guard, said TCHS Principal Steve Fiscus Monday morning at the school as he introduce the guest speaker for the Veterans Day assembly.
Following his retirement from the military, Enyart served the 113th district as Congressman until 2015 when he retired from public office. Enyart now practices law in Belleville and serves as an adjunct faculty member at Lindenwood University.
“We can’t talk about veterans without talking about history,” Enyart told the full gymnasium at TCHS. Before he entered the talking points of world and US history, he touched on his family history.
“Although I live now in Belleville, near St. Louis, both my mother and father graduated from Tuscola High School, the old high school over on Sale Street, and my brother and I attended Tuscola grade schools,” he said. Enyart shared a story about his Grandmother Dallas and her Tuscola-Villa Grove football game attendance decades ago when she was accused for cheering both sides, although she proudly noted that she had grandsons on both sidelines.
“My dad and brother, most of my uncles, and many of my cousins are veterans,” he said. “Some are still serving. I was very lucky, I as able to serve in both the Air Force and the Army.”
Enyart said he first enlisted in the US Air Force in 1969 during the Vietnam War, nearly 50 years ago. He later served in the Army National Guard.
Enyart explained that there are two holidays set aside to recognize military service members – Veterans Day and Memorial Day–to honor different things.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Nov.14 edition of The Tuscola Journal.