Its not every day we get to see and thank modern heroes who literally risked their lives for our freedom, and Im glad our school got to see one yesterday.

Rick continues to be recognized for his heroic efforts on a national scale. After his worldwide deployment as an F-4 Phantom fighter pilot instructor, Rick moved to Columbia to begin his finance career as a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch. In his 13 years at the firm, Rick established himself as one of the top 10 brokers nationwide, managing over $200 million in client assets. Rick then joined the South Carolina Air National Guard as an F-16 fighter pilot. He was reactivated and deployed to Saudi Arabia to complete Operation Desert Storm, earning him the Distinguished Flying Cross and multiple Air medals. Rick retired from the South Carolina Air National Guard in 1997 as Lieutenant Colonel.

Spring Valley High Schools mission is to work with its students, families, and the community to provide a secure environment and innovative educational experiences that will empower their students to achieve excellence and to take responsibility for their lives, their learning, and the world in which they live. To learn more, visit

Rick Mantei is the owner and founder of Cola Wealth Advisors. Securities and advisory services offered through Centaurus Financial, Inc., a member of FINRA and SIPC and a Registered Investment Advisor. Cola Wealth Advisors and Centaurus Financial, Inc. are not affiliated. With the help of Kathy Nishnic, Atul Makharia, Lisa Mantei, Matt Hawkins and Cindy Chiellini, the Cola Wealth team assists more than two thousand families in achieving their financial goals. For more information, please visit