Gunsel Shares Navy Experience

As of this past September, eighth-grade Social Studies teacher Mr. Keith Gunsel has been serving the U.S. Navy for 25 years.  thumbnail152501
As of this past September, eighth-grade Social Studies teacher Mr. Keith Gunsel has been serving the U.S. Navy for 25 years.
The Stimson Middle School teacher showed students the different qualifications represented as medals on his khaki uniform.   thumbnail152502
The Stimson Middle School teacher showed students the different qualifications represented as medals on his khaki uniform.
Mr. Gunsel brought in the various uniforms that he wears while on active duty, during casual meetings, and for formal occasions.  thumbnail152503
Mr. Gunsel brought in the various uniforms that he wears while on active duty, during casual meetings, and for formal occasions.
Mr. Gunsel gladly answered questions from Birchwood’s curious students and we thank him for sharing his experiences! thumbnail152504
Mr. Gunsel gladly answered questions from Birchwood’s curious students and we thank him for sharing his experiences!
Recently, students at Birchwood were treated to a special presentation from Stimson Middle School teacher Mr. Keith Gunsel. Since this past September, Mr. Gunsel has been serving the U.S. Navy for 25 years and came in to share his experiences and answer questions about being an active service member with Birchwood’s students. He first joined the Navy when he was 17-years-old with permission from his parents, as he was still a minor when he chose to join the service. “My father was the one who asked me to please look into the Navy or the Air Force,” Mr. Gunsel shared with students after admitting he did not want to attend college after graduating high school. “They will work your mind and send you to school rather than paint a target on your chest and send you to war,” were the words of his father who wanted to see Mr. Gunsel continue down a successful path. After graduating from Walt Whitman High School, Mr. Gunsel trained for two months at boot camp and spent 4 years in the classroom to learn about the Navy and how to be a sailor.

Mr. Gunsel’s ship was stationed in California which began his extensive travel experiences. He was very fortunate to be able to travel around the world to places as far as Australia, Spain, Hong Kong, and Singapore. During his presentation, Mr. Gunsel shared photographs of his travels and brought in his different service uniforms to teach Birchwood’s students the differences between each one. When looking at his service uniform, anyone in the military could look at him and know his qualifications based off of the badges and pins adorned on his suit. He received awards from the Navy for completing individual jobs and for good conduct while on active duty. The military even recognizes him for his volunteer work within the South Huntington community in which he lives by honoring him with a medal for every 3 years of continuous volunteer work he completes. Mr. Gunsel has so far received 4 medals for volunteering for the Huntington Manor Fire Department. As an 8th grade social studies teacher at Stimson Middle School, Mr. Gunsel is also qualified to teach in the Navy. In 2011, he was sent to Tanzania, Africa to teach Tanzania and Uganda soldiers and found it incredibly rewarding to work with these individuals who shared the same goal of serving their countries.

During his 25 years of service, Mr. Gunsel has been involved in two U.S. government conflicts in which he had been on sea surface deployments greater than six months. His first deployment was at the end of the Gulf War in 1997 when he was 21-years-old. As a husband and father, his second deployment was more challenging. This was 2 years ago for our country’s current conflict, the War on Terrorism, where he was away from his family for 10 months from August to June. While we are proud of the work and service he has provided over the last 25 years for the U.S. Navy, we are equally as grateful to have Mr. Gunsel as an active community member, insightful teacher, and reliable friend here in South Huntington. Thank you for your service and for all you do, Mr. Gunsel!