Something very wrong happened in this community recently. Earl Vicory, lost his volunteer job at the high school. To me, it is an Outrage! He should be honored, he is not only a War HERO, he is also a hero to countless young people who have gone through Orofino schools. Not sure what some of the newly hired officials were thinking, but maybe they need to learn a thing or two.
After growing up in Orofino, Earl went into the Army to serve our country in 1976. In 1990 he was serving in a tank command the first night of Desert Storm. He was injured very badly, broke both his back and his neck. This ended his military service, but not his desire to serve. Instead of sitting around in self-pity because of very serious injuries, he kept serving our community. He raised 3 sons, and starting in 1991, with his sons sports so he was there to help, he continued as they went through high school. After his last son graduated in 2008, he continued. He told me he serves because he knows, that the school does not have a lot of money. They are shorthanded on custodians, and volunteers. So he just keeps going. He truly cares about the young people, but I am not sure even he realizes the impact he has made on so many lives.
Earl does so much, I cannot come close to knowing all, but he preps fields, sets up the PA system, gets other volunteers for gates, calls the ambulance to be on scene, carries and unloads supplies, announces, runs the clock, picks up garbage, makes sure lights are all off and property is secured, etc. etc. Anything that needs to be done at any sports event, he does. Earl always brings cases of water, and lots of snacks for kids. He transports elderly, or handicapped up the hill to football games. He gives money out to kids who need to eat, gets the students to help as much as he can, takes carloads of kids to out of town games, watches over them. He coordinated building the new visitor bleaches and used all of his own tools and equipment.
Even though Earl saves thousands of dollars to Clearwater County tax payers each year, it is the students who want him back. These are a very few comments from some students who responded to the letter Jeremiah Powers wrote on Facebook. 87 people shared, mostly students.
“This is completely ridiculous! Earl has done nothing but support the high school and everyone who was in it. I was a nobody when I first started going to high school there. In a lot of ways Earl helped me find myself. I can’t believe he’s not allowed there anymore”
“Earl Vicory has given his heart and soul to that school & everyone in it, myself included from years ago. It’s been that way for a long, long time. He hasn’t even had a child in that school for over a decade & he still gave 100% for FREE.”
“Earl Vicory I wouldn’t have played basketball or football if it wasn’t for you. You are an amazing person.”
“When the high school has needed legitimately anything in the last 20 years. Who was doing it? Earl. Adding to that, he has always opened his own personal wallet for students who come from less than fortunate circumstances.”
Earl was treated with extreme disrespect and threats of violence by a troubled young man. Earl stood up to him. There were many witnesses. I have talked to a few, all say Earl did nothing wrong. Who knows what the student reported? But that student is the kind of kid, Earl, might have helped. I have seen him help many kids, from many troubled families. He gets them working, teaches them to mechanic, etc., and encourages them in life. Earl does this for ALL students, rich or poor. He doesn’t just talk about it, he does it. Standing up to a troubled young man like this is the best thing, he could do for the young man. This could have been a valuable life lesson, but instead it turns out like this.
Now who is going to be there for these kids? Not going to be that bunch, they could NEVER even understand, why Earl has been so respected for so long, by the students they propose to help.