Issiah Rookstool was one of 15 Douglas High School freshmen to give back to the veteran community Wednesday by volunteering time to clean the grounds of the Roseburg VA Health Care System.

Rookstool’s stepfather, Luke Shirley, is a member of the Oregon National Guard.

“I have a great deal of respect for him, he’s like my top role model,” the 14-year-old said.

“I can’t give back like he does but I do what I can. He keeps us safe and I help keep us clean.”

Rookstool, who plans to follow in his stepfather’s footsteps after high school by joining the Guard, also hopes to pursue a career in underwater welding.

Students at Douglas High School must complete 100 community service hours to graduate.

Tim Parish, public information officer for the Roseburg VA Health Care System, contributed to this report

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