On Friday, November 8 Mispillion Elementary hosted the first Take a Veteran to School day as students paid respect to veterans through song and talked with veterans about their role in society. Students were educated about the different branches of the military and taught about the benefits that military service can bring to the individual serving as well as the community as a whole.
Take a Veteran to School Day is a national program developed by the History Channel to link veterans with students nationwide. Schools and communities invite veterans of all backgrounds to share their stories and receive thanks for their service. Launched in 2007, thousands of schools nationwide have participated in Take a Veteran to School Day from single class visits to all-school assemblies. These events are aimed to provide a way for students to learn more about the history of Veterans Day and about the experiences of veterans from all backgrounds and walks of life.
Following an ensemble of Mispillion students singing the National Anthem and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, veterans in attendance were recognized. Those representing the United Stated Army included Keith Bauer, Alyssa Boyer, Harold Burton, Steve Failkner, Booby Messick, Ernest Scott Jr. and Jerry Sharp. Representing the United States Navy was John Burns, Scott Newhouse and Dewey Sapp. The United States Air Force was represented by Darin Albright, Mark Kuykendall, William O’ Brien, Llyod Stoebner and Dan Widener. The Marine Corps was represented by Ewn P. Cahall Sr., Carl Klein, Lieutenant Colonel Fred Palumbo and Darrell Wisseman. Representing the National Guard was Mark Hazzard and James Spray.
Guest speaker Marny D Mclee Sr.,a retired Non Commissioned Officer from the United States Air Force with over 20 years of service, spoke to students on the opportunities in education he received as he continued his career in the United States Air Force.
“When I decided to enlist in the Air Force I made a promise to myself that as I completed my service I would also have a four-year degree,” commented Mclee. “Education helped me to obtain a job after serving over twenty years in the military. You all should understand that education is very important. So listen to your teachers and your parent and when the time comes, you can prepare yourself for what you want to do.” Mclee is is presently the Citizen Corps and CERT Training and Outreach Coordinator for the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA).
Representative Harvey Kenton, a veteran of the United States Navy, talked with the students and stressed to them the important role that veterans play in the lives of all Americans. “We are here because they are serving over there, do not take that for granted,” commented Representative Kenton. “I thank each and every one of the veterans here today, thank you.”
United States Senator Tom Carper, United States Navy veteran, spoke to the students about the opportunities that the United States military offers through education. He discussed that individuals serving in the United States military can enroll in any public university or college in the nation for free and receive a stipend for living expenses.
“There are great ways to get an education and serve your country,” commented U.S. Senator Carper. “The reason we have a free country is because men and women, like those in this room, have served our country for over 200 years.”
Principal of Mispillion Elementary, Susan Donahue, was proud of her students and enjoyed the opportunity to educate the children about veterans while they gave thanks. “Right now we live in a time where the kids see and hear everything,” commented Donahue. “It is our responsibility to educate them on how veterans serving over seas allows us to do what we do here at home.”