Take A Veteran To School Day

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Donna Teresa: Take a Veteran to School Day

by Donna Teresa, Homefront Journal

I t’s back-to-school time for many young people across America. We spend summers preparing our children to take with them all the essential supplies needed for class — backpacks, lunches, books, pencils, binders, etc. How could students function without the necessary tools for a productive school day?

But there is another essential resource that is sometimes forgotten and not appreciated as often as it should be. This invaluable resource I am referring to is the American veteran. The History Channel is doing its part with its "Take a Veteran to School Day" (www.veterans.com), encouraging teachers and principals to invite veterans to their schools.

When schools bring veterans to visit, students get a history lesson that cannot be taught from books. Veterans are living history right in front of their eyes. Bring the field trip to your schools and participate in this great day.

The program will be taking place from Oct. 15 through Nov. 9. Last year many students from elementary school through college held events in their school gymnasiums and classrooms and invited our men and women in uniform, past and present, to share their stories and war experiences.

     

Students gave flag parades, held fundraisers to donate to local veteran organizations, provided letters and cards of thanks, had lunch with the veterans and recorded valuable oral histories. It is a great day that helps make our veterans feel appreciated for their service and sacrifice to our country.

In every school, there is someone who has parents, brothers, sisters, friends or relatives — even a staff member — who has served in the military. Students today are living in a unique period of history. Give them the opportunity to know about these unique individuals and about their place in America’s history.

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War is a sensitive topic to teach in the classroom, and there is sometimes reluctance to incorporate Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day in school curriculum. Let us not be afraid to learn about our veterans for fear of doing what is politically correct. Veterans are not about politics.

As our current troops begin to come home, I hope every young person will take the time to welcome them in their communities and learn about them. When we appreciate the accomplishments of great leaders in our nation’s history, let us not forget those leaders who humbly do their jobs and come home without receiving warm welcomes or parades.

I commend the History Channel for providing valuable teaching resources at its Web site to assist teachers for this event. The materials are provided in such a way that they can be adapted to fit every level of class. The Web site provides all the materials and resources you need to make your event a great learning experience.

If you can’t hold an event at your school, please incorporate the teaching of Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day this school year. Since the Civil War, we have had young people serving in our military so that other young people would not have to serve.

In gratitude, let us appreciate them for their willingness to risk their lives and give their lives so that our school children can have the freedoms they have. So, say thanks to a veteran America. Ask your teacher or school to participate in "Take a Veteran to School Day."

You don’t need to find history just in a book. History is probably living with you or right next door to you. Time is passing fast, and they will not be with us forever. Don’t miss the opportunity to say thanks to them. They are not just a resource, they are a treasure.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Donna Teresa can be reached at [email protected] Journal Donna Teresa writes about the History Channel’s "Take a Veteran to School Day." www.montereyherald.com


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