By Annie Dockery, The Belton Journal
After its namesake, Belton New Tech High School @ Waskow recognized the 72nd anniversary of the death of Capt. Henry T. Waskow and was designated a Purple Heart School on Monday.
Special guests at the ceremony included family members of Capt. Waskow who were presented with Purple Heart Family pins.
Dr. Susan Kincannon, BISD Superintendent said, “ This is a huge honor for Belton New Tech High School @ Waskow as well as the Belton Independent School District. We have worked very hard to maintain the legacy and the name of Henry T. Waskow as the heart of this campus.”
“It also helps us to continue to preserve that legacy and history for our students and for future generations,” Kincannon said.
The designating of the school as a Purple Heart School was due to the hard work of Ret. Capt. Charlie R. Lewellen.
Principal Jill Ross said, “We are here today because because of his (Lewellen) determination to make this event happen. He was dedicated to ensure that Belton New Tech High @ Waskow was going to remain something special and will be named a Purple Heart Campus.
Ret. Capt. Charlie Lewellen said, “It was a labor of love. … I set the task upon myself to get it done. I contacted Ms. Ross and I told her what I wanted to do. She said run with it.”
Being a Purple Heart School is a designation signifying that it recognizes and honors veterans who were wounded in combat.
The Commander of Post 1876 presented the plaque signifying that BNTH@Waskow is a Purple Heart School.
“I did a lot of research on Henry T. I found out about him and his life,” Lewellen said. “I’m just glad this was able to come about and get this done.”
Lewellen also presented the school with the medals that Capt. Wascow earned during his career in the U.S. Army.
Dr. Kincannon read the proclamation to designate Belton New Tech High School @ Waskow as a Purple Heart School and the third week in December 2015 as the first annual Capt. Henry T. Waskow Purple Heart Awareness week.
Students wrote about Purple Heart recipients and the projects were out for display at the school.
Ernie Pyle received a Pulitzer Prize in April of 1944 for the story that he wrote about, bringing Waskow’s body off the hill in 1205 at San Pietro.
“I think the greatest thing that I looked at was Ernie Pyle received a Pulitzer Prize in April of 1944 for the story that he wrote about bringing Wascow’s body off the hill 1205,” Lewellen said. “That was very touching.”
Ernie Pyle wrote, “In this war I have known a lot of officers who were loved and respected by the soldiers under them. But never have I crossed the trail of any man as beloved as Captain Henry Thomas Waskow of Belton, Texas.”