Veterans Day Special: On the Record with Mr. Verdi


This past Friday, two Eagles’ Cry interviewers had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Verdi, who served in the military, and currently teaches government here at BHS. We thank him for his service.

The Eagle’s Cry: What branch did you serve in?

Mr. Verdi: I was in the US Army Reserves.

The Eagle’s Cry: How long did you serve?

Mr. Verdi: I was in the reserves, active, for about 6 six years, and I was inactive for 2 years. This means the military can ask you to come back, but you don’t have to go to drill or anything like that.

The Eagle’s Cry: How did you enter the military?

Mr. Verdi: After 9/11, I was teaching here, and I enlisted in the reserves. I was able to do my training in the summers and maintain my job here, since I wanted to keep my job here. So I went to basic training, and did it over two summers.

The Eagle’s Cry: What was your MOS?

Mr. Verdi: I was 92 Yankee, it’s a supply branch.

The Eagle’s Cry: What was your rank?

Mr. Verdi: The highest rank I ever got was sergeant.

The Eagle’s Cry: Favorite boot camp memory?

Mr. Verdi: None…. actually leaving. To be honest with you, although this is going to sound crazy, there’s two things which were probably the most fun. The rifle range—people pay to do that—was pretty fun. The other one, and this is going to sound crazy, was the tear gas room. It was very painful and horrible, but it was really one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had.

The Eagle’s Cry: What was the food like?

Mr. Verdi: At camp, at the training, the food was okay. In Iraq, the food was phenomenal.

The Eagle’s Cry: It was better in Iraq?

Mr. Verdi: Oh, it was phenomenal. The food in Iraq was phenomenal. Prime rib…. anything you want. Breakfast was delicious. You weren’t really allowed to drink or do a lot of fun stuff, so they went out of their way to make the food as top-quality as possible, so you could enjoy yourself.

The Eagle’s Cry: What are your favorite hobbies?

Mr. Verdi: I like to cook, predominantly, more than anything else. I cook at home, but I also like to smoke food, using my smoker, barbecue, and things along those lines. That’s probably what I enjoy the most, and is as close as you could say I have to a hobby.

The Eagle’s Cry: Do you have any favorite bands or genres of music?

Mr. Verdi: A lot of the classic rock stuff. The Who was probably my top band.

The Eagle’s Cry: Favorite movie?

Mr. Verdi: I’ve always enjoyed The Godfather.

The Eagle’s Cry: What are your greatest professional strengths?

Mr. Verdi: My knowledge of government and politics, accrued over twenty years.

The Eagle’s Cry: What are the three greatest factors to your current success?

Mr. Verdi: Family, is number one, with my wife and my kids. Also, to be very clear, my parents raised me with a certain work ethic, plus a very strong support network. Number two would be me, my work ethic, which I got from them, and also I have a pretty good knowledge base because I pick things up and have a fairly good memory. Three is that in this building, the students are actually pretty enjoyable and fun to teach. I’ve been here twenty years, and I’ve pretty much dealt with every level of student. In twenty years [I’ve found] it’s easier to succeed with a strong community and family.. [parents] raise kids who really take a lot of this stuff seriously, so that makes it a lot easier.