Honoring Mr. Dixon, a Winthrop High School Teacher and Veteran

Mr. Dixon in full army gear
Mr. Dixon in full army gear

This Saturday is Veteran’s Day.  This holiday dates back to 1918 when Germany surrendered to the Allies, on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month.  This marked the end of the fighting in World War I.

Initially, Veteran’s Day was known as Armistice Day.  In 1931, Armistice Day was changed by the Commonwealth of Nations (except for the U.S.) to Remembrance Day.  The reason for this change was to remember all of the soldiers who have fought in the world’s wars; not just World War I.  In 1954, nine years after the end of World War II, the United States changed Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day to honor all of America’s, and the world’s, veterans.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, I’ve decided to dedicate the next couple of weeks’ articles to highlighting various veterans in Winthrop’s community.  This week, I interviewed Winthrop High School’s Mr. Dixon.  From 1994 to 2001, he served in the Army as a captain (“I was special!” as he said in the interview), after being in the Wyoming National Guard.  While he was on active duty, he served in the 82nd Airborne Division.  He was a part of one of three brigades in his division, the 505th Paruchute Infantry Regiment.  He served as a lieutenant in the Second Battalion and then a captain in the First Battalion.  Below is the interview conducted with our high school’s very own veteran.

Dixon (top row, second from left) is seen in Kosovo in 1999.

Shan Raneri: Why did you choose to serve in the Army?

Mr. Dixon: I was in college and I needed a scholarship.  The Army had great scholarships – a lot of it was a way to pay for college.  I was going to join the Navy, but they needed engineers, and I’m not an engineer.  So I figured the Army would be the one to give me a scholarship.

Raneri: Did your family ever serve?

Dixon: Oh, yeah!  My dad was in the Army and my grandmother was in the Marines, that’s where she met my grandfather.

Raneri: Where were you deployed to?

Dixon: Kosovo in 1999.  It was nice to get the chance to do something.  It wasn’t great, obviously, but it was nice not just to be trained, if that makes any sense.  Because in the military, you spend a lot of time training, and then you’re like, “Well, nothing’s gonna happen.”  So then you get bored.  It was nice to be able to not be bored.

Raneri: Military life is very different than “civilian life.”  What’s the biggest difference that you had to adapt to?

Dixon: Everything in the military has to get done.  Whatever you get assigned to do, you must do it.  For example, you know how people will do stuff, in life?  And sometimes the things they do aren’t really that important so they can just “let it slide?”  There’s no “letting it slide” in the military.  It’s just a different sense of importance.

Raneri: Is there anything you miss about the service?

Dixon: Oh, geez.  Not having to choose what to wear every day.  It was very comforting to not have to worry about that.  

Raneri: Did you learn any life lessons?

Dixon: Whatever you don’t think you can do, you can.  You can always do more than you think you can.

This Saturday, you can honor the veterans in your community by donating to a charity for veterans, supporting a veteran-owned business, or even just saying “Thank you for your service.”  We honor those who have sacrificed their lives for our country.  Thank you to all veterans.

Thank you for your service, Mr. Dixon!

View Comments (4)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Shannon Raneri, Writer
Hello!  My name is Shannon Raneri and I am a junior at Winthrop High School.  I am an avid writer and I am very happy to contribute my writing to The Viking Times, our Winthrop community, and beyond.  I write a variety of topics from current events, to sports, and entertainment.   On the rare occasion when I am not writing, you can find me reading, playing with my dogs, or watching "Friends" for the umpteenth time. Thank you for reading The Viking Times!

Comments (4)

All The Viking Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • M

    Mark W DixonNov 9, 2023 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks, Shannon! It was a pleasure.

    • S

      Shan RaneriNov 12, 2023 at 8:53 pm

      Of course! Thank you for your service!

  • C

    Chris Summa c/o Winthrop High SchoolNov 9, 2023 at 9:43 am

    I just love the article on Mr. Dixon! What a great job you did!
    Believe it or not, I never knew that Mr. Dixon was a Veteran and this article was full of information on him. I enjoyed every second reading it.
    Now I am going to email Mr. Dixon and thank him for his service!
    I thank you too, for your awesome work!

    • S

      Shan RaneriNov 12, 2023 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you so much! Your enthusiasm for the newspaper is awesome!!