In honor of Veteran’s Day, Mispllion Elementary School hosted a Veteran’s Day program for 3rd to 5th graders on Tuesday, November 10. Students were encouraged to invite family and friends they knew had served in the Armed Forces to school for a presentation and reception in the school cafeteria. Guest speaker for the event was local active duty member Major John Obrien of the Delaware Air National Guard.
Serving for 21 years and involved with community outreach efforts for the Guard throughout the year, Obrien has recognized that many young children think solely about the Airforce pilot when they are asked to envision an active military member or veteran. At the event at Mispillion Elemetary, OBrien made it clear that although the movies and media many times feature only pilots, there are many team members that support the military community.
“The main thing I want them to understand is the teamwork of the military. When I wear the uniform kids ask about the plane I fly but I want them to know the other military jobs that are involved,” said Obrien. It takes a big team to keep it all going.” Obrien recognized several occupations within the military community including cook, mechanic and transportation. “I want the kids to see that everyone is different and everyone has a plan within the organization. Everyone is a special part of that community.”
For Obrien, military service has not only led his life but shaped his worldview. “The military has paid for everything and has built my life. It paid for my education through the GI Bill and has helped me develop leadership skills,” said Obrien. “It has taught me discipline, leadership and responsibility as well as broaden my word view as I was able to interact with people of different cultures and nationalities.”
After listening to the speaker, students had time to socialize and learn more about each veteran that attended as they continued their Veterans Day activities. Major Linden Boyer of the Delaware National Guard was in attendance talking with students about the importance of local community support for veterans.
“It feels great being able to serve your country and I am grateful for Mispillion Elementary for taking the time to recognize veterans for their service; it is much appreciated,” said Major Boyer. “Serving your country is a rewarding career and a great way to give back.” Major Boyer is an active duty member with the Delaware Army National Guard. He was deployed in 2008 to 2009 in Iraq and in 2013 to 2014 in Afghanistan.
With over 40 veterans in attendance, the program was a great success for students and veterans alike. Organizer Alyssa Boyer, who is a veteran as well, has facilitated this event over the last three years. “These events are important so that students can respect veterans and see what it takes. Who knows, some of them may be veterans themselves one day,” said Boyer.