Campuses across Frisco ISD honor those who have served in the United States Armed Forces each Veteran’s Day. It is a time for assemblies, student performances and receptions for military veterans as students learn about and celebrate heroes.
Frisco ISD has many heroes of its own as the District currently employs a number of veterans.
One of those veterans is Tom Barta, the Multimedia/Video Production, Animation, Broadcasting and Robotics teacher at Staley Middle School.
Barta was honored in an award ceremony at the office of Congressman Van Taylor this past week for his service in Vietnam.
Fifty-four years after ending his military duty, Barta was surrounded by family and coworkers as Congressman Taylor awarded him the Air Force Commendation medal for the rescue of a downed U.S. Air Force pilot in an enemy region of the Delta.
Barta is in his eighth year at Staley and in his twenty-first year in education.
He was an ROTC graduate from college and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Transportation Corps. After entering the service, he was accepted into flight school where his primary helicopter flight training was at Camp Wolters in Mineral Wells. He completed his flight training and received his aviator wings at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
Upon graduation from flight school, he was immediately assigned as a helicopter pilot to the 121st Aviation Company located in Soc Trang, about 120 south of Saigon, Republic of South Vietnam. His flights consisted of delivering troops into combat, food and various other supplies to the many villages and hamlets in the Delta region.
Barta, who ended his military career as a captain, explained that there are many valuable lessons to be learned through service in the military.
“Teamwork, leadership skills, discipline, flexibility, decision-making skills and adapting to certain situations are among the many things one can learn,” Barta said. “I think it’s a good avenue for youth and it also gives them the opportunity to learn a trade.”
Thank you to all of the veterans of all branches in the community and those on staff in Frisco ISD for your sacrifice, bravery and the example you set for everyone. Thank you for your service.