Wow, let's see if I can convey the many emotions that I have felt today. I am so grateful that our school takes pride in Veteran's Day and honors those who have served and are currently serving. Today was Take a Vet to School Day. Students were invited to bring anyone who may have served or who are serving with them for a day full of events honoring our Veterans. I had the honor of escorting CSM Neil Ciotola, our III Corps and Fort Hood Command Sergeant Major. He was gracious enough to come and talk to a total of six classes. Four classes were combined so he went into four different classrooms. He was FANTASTIC, the kids opened right up to him and he was sincere and so real with them. He often got down on one knee as he talked to the students, showing that they were important and he cared about what they had to say. I know the things he was sharing with them touched my heart and I know the comments touched theirs as well. The kids asked funny questions and serious questions and he had an answer for each of them. He shook each of their hands making them feel important. He had everyone laughing and a few crying (good tears). I cannot express how blessed I felt today being able to escort this wonderful Soldier around. CSM Ciotola, thank you for your time and sincerity, you made the day memorable for many of our Silent Warriors today, words are not enough.
After our visits to the classroom, I got to have lunch with my boys. We were treated to a hot dog lunch in a paper bag decorated by the students saying thank you to our Vets. It's times like this I miss Kevin so much, he has never been home to participate in one of these (but he is always being honored). I also missed Michael, it's hard when one kid moves on and your kids are separated.
This afternoon the 5th graders performed songs they had written. Each had a similar theme, they talked about Freedom, Soldiers and our nation. They wrote their own lyrics, I was very touched. I became brave enough to glance around and saw many a Soldier in the audience with tears in their eyes (there is nothing that will make me cry faster than that view). We also had 5th grade students who did some "storytelling". They wrote their own stories about what life is like as a Military Child. They talked about the constant moving, having to say goodbye to their loved ones, friendship and loneliness. One that caused tears in my eyes was about a girl who's father deployed, got injured and is now serving again. All of them spoke with pride and conviction, we could certainly learn from their examples.
It was a wonderful day full of honor and pride. I am so proud of the students who attend CCE and serve honorably. They thanked those who came in and spoke to them (Daniel told me two "old" Soldiers talked to him and he was proud to tell one of them that his daddy wore the same 1st CAV patch that was on his hat!). I want to say that I think we owe gratitude to these amazing Silent Warriors in their service of supporting their Soldiers with pride and honor. So to all serving, those in uniform and those who love the one in uniform, thank you!