By Christy Porter, Managing Editor
Students in Ms. Candice Shepherd’s fourth grade class invited Veteran family members who had proudly served our country in the armed forces to share with the class last Thursday.
The fourth graders greeted their family members at the foyer of Licking Elementary and escorted them to the classroom where they were welcomed by the class.
The Veterans then introduced themselves and shared their military experience.
Veteran Mike Gorman, U.S. Army, served after being drafted in 1969. He was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood among other bases and served in Vietnam. He joined his proud granddaughter, Emma, and brought his medals: National Defense, Purple Heart, Bronze Star-Valor and a Flying Citation Medal, for helicopter missions and combat assault, which he shared and explained what they stood for.
Veteran Mike Heidenfelder, U.S. Marines, and his wife, Avie, joined his proud grandson, Jaxon. Heidenfelder served from 1968 – 1972, in aviation. He shared with the students that they needed to read and study hard so that they would be better equipped to pursue their life goals.
Veteran Jerry Creasy, U.S. Army, told the students how he had volunteered to serve but was denied due to his brother’s current service. His brother returned home and the next day he received a special letter from President Nixon (draft notice) ordering him to report for duty. He served from 1969 – 1970, in Vietnam on a gun truck. He joined his proud great-granddaughter, Addie.
Veteran Steve Larimore, U.S. Army, was joined by his wife, Linda, and proud granddaughter, Aubrey. Larimore volunteered for the draft at the age of eighteen. He served in Vietnam from 1965 – 1966.
Veteran Chris Baker, U.S. Army, joined his proud daughter, Allison, to share his military service that included 15 months in Iraq and 12 months in Afghanistan. He joined the Army in 2006 and received his honorable discharge in 2011. He shared with the class that he chose the military for a wider range of choices after completing his education.
Several students shared notes, poems and prose of appreciation for the attending Veterans. Student Preston shared a very meaningful video of military history and statistics that brought a few tears and a greater appreciation from the students, as they were very attentive during the presentation.
The students had prepared packets of Thank You cards and notes for each Veteran, which were given to them and received with smiles. The students then offered their thanks and appreciation as they shook hands with each Veteran.
Thank you to all our Veterans!
Photos by Christy Porter