By JUDY SHERIDAN
Aledo ISD Vandagriff Elementary School fifth graders have been taught to honor and respect military veterans.
They did so with enthusiasm during a program on Veterans Day, where they noted each branch of the armed services — Army, Marines Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard — and offered up patriotic songs, essays, poetry and applause to the veterans who attended.
Guest speaker Navy Chief Rico Remigio talked to students about setting goals, being a good leader and why veterans should be thanked.
“During peacetime they serve the United States around the world and are often away from their families,” he said. “During times of conflict they serve under dangerous conditions. Often being wounded changes their life forever, or sometimes our veterans don’t make it home.”
Remigio introduced Petty Officer Brice Kubosh, who once attended Vandagriff and graduated from Aledo High School in 2011.
Kubosh, who shipped off to basic training in May of 2013, will learn how to operate the nuclear reactors on board aircraft carriers and submarines.
“He’s a very smart cookie,” Remigio said. “Only 3 percent of the Navy is qualified to enter the nuclear power program. It will costs the taxpayers close to half a million after he’s done with this school.”
Remigio told the students that veterans allow them the freedoms they have to travel freely, play with their Smartphones and wear what they want.
“Not all the children in the world have those freedoms,” he said, “and sometimes we take those for granted.”
Holly Gaffner and Krista Rasnick read their winning essays, and Natalie Durrington offered a poem, which she ended this way:
“We still have a flag of red, white and blue because of you, you are a very devoted crew.
So thank you, thank you, we wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for you.
Thank you soldiers. May God bless you.”