I received an invitation to attend a veterans program at the Burgess Elementary School, where they would be presenting me with a check for the Veterans Welcome Home and Resource Center. I was not aware that I was in for such an amazing performance. Principal Donna Hooks had assigned music teacher Valerie Herstatt to prepare a program to honor veterans. I believe they both must have been drill sergeants in a previous life because the children performed like a well-trained drill team without missing a cue during the two one-hour programs. Songs were song, notes were read, and presentations made all nicely done with no hesitations. It was one of the best salutes to veterans I have ever seen and all I could do when it was my turn to speak was say “Wow!” then render a salute.
Even more amazing was the fact that the school had raised enough money to give five charities checks for $460 each, a Herculean feat in my book. The children did all the research, chose the organizations and prepared the introductions, leading me to be honored to be a recipient of their generosity.
The fact that Burgess Elementary is taking the time to teach their students that they must never forget those that have given so much to keep this country free makes me very proud. They should be the role model for other schools and the general population as well to continue to support our soldiers past and present.
I want to thank the children, staff and the parents who supported their efforts for a job well done and for providing me with a great kickoff for the Veterans Day weekend. I will be talking about this for a long time to come.
The writer is director of the Veterans Welcome Home and Resource Center in Little River.