Businesses and students join forces to build new set for veterans show

‘Salute’ host Bob Peters, second from left, stands with project participants on the new studio set of his veterans television show. // Photos provided by the city of Leesburg

Leesburg’s LakeFront TV station on Friday, June 15, unveiled a special new studio set for their veterans show, “Salute.”

David Bock, whose son, Staff Sgt. Michael Bock, lost his life while serving with the Marine Corps in Afghanistan, spearheaded the project to create the set, a news release states. He approached several local businesses to seek assistance and every one made a contribution that went directly to purchasing a specific piece for the set. Students from the Leesburg High School Building Construction Academy provided the labor to construct the set from the donated materials.

The new set was a surprise for “Salute” host Bob Peters, an Air Force veteran who has hosted and produced 400 episodes of the show over the past nine years. “Salute,” one of LakeFront’s most watched programs, spotlights men and women who have served in the military, along with military history.

“‘Salute’ has been a popular show, but no one does anything alone,” Bob says in the release. “I’ve had the support of the community and veterans groups. It’s a blessing to be in this community.”

David believes that preserving the memories of veterans is essential and the “Salute” program provides a great way to capture their stories.

“This was a great community project,” David says in the release. “I don’t think people are aware of what Bob has done to record all of this history through the ‘Salute’ program. It is one of Bob’s goals to get the younger generation to understand the history of the military and the United States, so getting the students involved in this project was important.”

Leesburg High School principal Michael Randolph and Building Construction Academy instructor Dan McAuley also were integral to the project. David approached the school with a basic plan and some of the components. Michael turned it over to Dan and he and his students took over from there.

About 30 students contributed to the effort, including creating their own design for the innovative set that changes from a semi-circle to a rectangle. They also worked on assembling chairs, learning new miter and bevel cuts, cutting special wedges to make the shape transition seamless, installing laminate, and adding the final finishing touches.

Students from the Building Construction Academy work on the new set.

Dan says that students in his class normally are given a specific plan to follow, so this project was unusual for them because they created it based on David’s idea.

“We had to design a plan for the set with the anomaly of allowing it to flex from one shape to another,” Dan says in the release. “The students had to use a lot of critical thinking and think outside the box to create it using limited resources.”

The ability to change shape gives the set additional functionality so it can be used for other LakeFront programs.

The set includes six stools, five with a brass medallion representing one of the branches of the military, and one with no medallion, symbolizing the POW/MIA Missing Man. That stool always will be empty and placed to the side near the POW/MIA flag.

The project will be featured in a special edition of “Community Spotlight” on LakeFront TV. Check local listings for showtimes on Prism channel 21, Prism channel 2012 (high-def), Comcast channel 22, Spectrum channel 497, or Roku media (listed under Discover Video). The show also will be available online at

Supporters of the project include Ro-Mac Lumber, Jenkins Hyundai and Nissan, Home Depot of Leesburg, Lowe’s of Leesburg, Mathias Food Service Equipment Co., Wilson Art Formica, A&M Supply, Michael’s Couture Salon, Doggi Bags, Unique Boutique, Great Chicago Fire Brewery and Tap Room, Sip Restaurant Jazz and Wine Bar, Two Old Hags Wine Shoppe, and the David and Sandra Bock family in honor of their son, Michael, the release states.