UNION CITY — Veterans were treated to breakfast before the Mississinawa Valley Schools Veterans Day Program, Friday, November 10.
According to Mississinawa Valley third-grade teacher Amy Roessner, the program is totally-student driven. Breakfast was cooked by the Junior High Student Council students, and shopping, serving and clean-up was also done by the students, she said. The eggs were donated by Cal-Maine Foods, Inc.
“It is a K-12 endeavor, with the help of teachers, staff and others, working together to make it happen,” Roessner said.
In its seventh year, the program is growing. Last year they had 70 veterans as guests; this year brought in 91, Roessner said. The idea to start a program began one year when the students sent a signed paper turkey to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). The veterans responded with a thank-you letter. Touched by the response, Roessner was moved to start a program.
“The first year, we put together a slide show and the kids started performing,” she said.”This year we had more speakers than ever before.”
The program consisted of the presentation of the flag, playing taps, several student readers and presenters, prelude music performed by the High School band, the “Star Spangled Banner” performed by the High School band and the High School Choir, a slideshow presentation, gifts presented to the veterans and a closing by school Superintendent Doug Dunham. As part of the presentation, each veteran stood up when their featured service song from their military branch was played, while everyone clapped.
In addition, the students collected more than $1,200 and more than 1,500 food items to donate to The Journey Home, in Winchester, Indiana, in honor of the veterans. The Journey Home is a program that transitions homeless veterans off the streets or out from under bridges into permanent housing, treatment and appropriate employment, according to its website. Roessner said a representative from The Journey Home said that food was in need.
While all the planning for the program is exciting for the students, Roessner said the purpose is what make it so great.
“It gives the kids a little more retrospect on what the veterans did for us and why we are here today,” she said. “It is to honor them and thank them for their service.”
Throughout the program, students made statements about the veterans.
“When our freedom is threatened, whether it is here or somewhere on the other side of the globe, we call on these men and women and they are ready to go and will go wherever they are needed,” a student said. “Let us continue to help the veterans in need, with the greatest possible compassion and efficiency, by recognizing what they have achieved in joining them in their resolve to keep America strong and free. There is always going to be conflict in the world, but the United States fortunately enjoys peace and freedom. Like other things of great value, this security does not come cheaply. Part of the cost has already been paid by Americans who answered the call to the military. When their country needed them, they served in 11 wars – from the Revolutionary War, to the Persian Gulf and still today. They have earned the special distinction of veteran.”
For information about The Journey Home program, visit https://journeyhomevets.org
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