The special guest speaker for the Plymouth High School Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday is 2020 PHS graduate Hannah Talaga.
Hannah’s remarkable journey of service began at an early age. At the age of 17, while still a junior in high school, she made the bold decision to enlist in the Indiana Army National Guard. Her journey led her to attend basic combat training between her junior and senior years, followed by the completion of advanced individual training after her high school graduation.
Hannah initially embarked on her military career as a 92 Golf, a culinary specialist. However, she didn’t stop there, displaying a thirst for challenges and an unwavering dedication to her mission. She cross-trained to become an 88 Mike, a motor transport operator, showcasing her versatility and adaptability as a soldier.
In her most recent deployment, Hannah served in the Balkans, specifically in Kosovo, a small but vital country nestled between Albania and Serbia. She was an integral part of Operation Joint Guardian as a member of KFOR 31 within NATO, attached to the S4 Maneuver Battalion. For her exceptional contributions during this deployment, she was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
One of her standout achievements during her deployment was her voluntary work teaching English to Kosovar school children aged 9 to 13, outside her regular duties. Her dedication extended to ensuring the mission readiness of the Battalion’s fleet of Tactical and Non-Tactical vehicles, maintaining an impressive average rate of 92%.
Hannah also served as an assistant instructor for the Kosovo Security Force-Armed Security Vehicles maintenance and recovery. She further demonstrated her leadership abilities by commanding a Forward Logistics Element Fleet as a Convoy Commander, assisting in an Air Assault mission with foreign forces attached.
Stateside, as a guardsman in Indiana, Hannah played a critical role during the “Covid Mission” in 2020-21. She tirelessly assisted at Covid testing sites, local hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons, providing much-needed support during the pandemic.
Today, SGT Hannah Talaga calls Valparaiso, her home, where she continues to serve the State and Country as the Indiana Army National Guard sees fit. Her story is a testament to her unwavering dedication to her fellow citizens and her commitment to upholding the values of service, sacrifice, and honor that Veterans Day represents. Hannah’s journey exemplifies the spirit of patriotism and the selfless service that our nation’s veterans embody.
The community is invited to attend Friday’s Veterans Day Ceremony at Plymouth High School. The 30-minute program begins at 9 a.m. in the Varsity Gym. Those attending should enter through Door #5 and seating will be on the main floor of the gym. The two front rows of parking in the north lot where students park will be open for guest parking on Friday. Additional parking is available on the east side of the school.