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another one for our Vets...

Posted by Suzanne D on 8/09/02 at 19:24 (092092)

One of my new little first grade boys has a new step-daddy who is in the army. I met him last night at our Open House at school. He asked if he could come to school today in his uniform and meet the other children. He ships out next Wednesday and will be gone about a year. He will find out where he is going next Monday, but said he might not be able to even tell his wife. All he knows is that it is hot and sandy where he is going. He said there were 44 men in his company, and he wondered if we might write to them from time to time.

So, today he came to school and I introduced him to the children in my class as well as the other first grade room. Our librarian made digital pictures of him with each group with his son standing beside him. I talked about the flag on his sleeve and said that when we said the pledge each morning, we would think of the flag on his uniform and think of him. Somehow I almost cried when I was saying this to the children. I never met him before last night, but he is a part of our 'family' in our classroom now, and we will think of him often. We will display the pictures near our flag, and I will keep him in my heart until he returns safely.

Together, our two first grade classes have 44 children, and so we will write to the men in that company from time to time. The notes will be rather simple, especially early in the year, but it seemed to mean a great deal to him as he asked us to write. He appears to be trying hard to be a good daddy to his new son and hopefully this project will help in that regard, too.

I thought this might be interesting to you Vets.

Suzanne :-)

Re: another one for our Vets...

BrianG on 8/09/02 at 21:34 (092101)

Good job Suzanne, especially the part with the pledge and his flag. This has what has helped to make our country be free. May kids every where have this honor!!!

I wrote to a co-worker during Desert Storm. It was such a dry, arid area, I thought he might like some liquid refreshment. I took a chance and sent him some vodka :*) The next morning, he wished I didn't, hahahaaa. Hundreds of pallets of goodies from home were going out weekly. No way they could check everything! Maybe your kids can do a couple projects to make a few dollars. I'm sure your new friend would like a goodie bag while he's 'over there'.

Nice story!
BrianG

Re: another one for our Vets...

Suzanne D on 8/09/02 at 21:52 (092103)

Good idea, Brian! Maybe you can give me some ideas about what might be good to send(of course, excluding liguid refreshment - ha!) :-) The thought about the kids doing a project to earn some money interests me, too. It would mean more to them if they felt like they helped earn the money to buy some things. I will think about that this weekend...

One of my little girls in my room visited Washington, D.C. this summer and told us that her guide at the Pentagon was someone who survived the crash there on September 11. Sometimes it is easy to underestimate first graders. She is a very bright little girl and seemed particularly thrilled with meeting a 'real soldier' as I heard her tell another child.

Thanks for your input! Any ideas on this project will be welcome.

Suzanne :-)

Re: another one for our Vets...

BrianG on 8/10/02 at 10:40 (092120)

Hahahaaa, I am probably the last person you would want to give suggestions for your students. I have no kids, and I graduated from 1st grade about 47 years ago :*)

How about having the kids bring in some cookies and baked goods. You could set up a table in the lunch room at noon time. I know I would have bought some fresh, home made chockolate chip cookies if I ever saw them for sale!!

One thing that my friend liked, and he could share with his buddies, was magazines. I'd send him stuff like Sports Illustrated, Field and Stream, Car and Driver, etc.

Good luck
BrianG

Re: another one for our Vets...

john h on 8/10/02 at 19:11 (092147)

I cannot tell you how much such notes would mean to a serviceman in some remote part of the world. Mail Call is perhaps the most important part of every day even though the letter sometimes takes weeks or more to arrive. Audio tapes are great also Suzanne. Perhaps a little song from the kids. In my day we were not as high tech as today with email and such but I shall never forget Barry Goldwater sponsering a very large shortwave radio complex where we could call home for free on short wave. It was crude but Barry was a hero to many a soldier.

Re: another one for our Vets...

john h on 8/10/02 at 19:17 (092148)

Suzanne: How wonderfully refreshing it is to hear children are excited about a soldier comming to visit your class. Having served through Vietnam era and spent two years there we would not have been welcome at any school and would probably have been booed. I remember on my way to Vietnam the first time in 1968 we were advised not to wear our uniform in downtown San Francisco. Times have sure changed for the better.

Re: another one for our Vets...

john h on 8/10/02 at 19:21 (092149)

Brian all the baked goods I ever received were in complete crumbs by the time they got to me. That was ok though because it was from home.

Re: another one for our Vets...

john h on 8/10/02 at 19:23 (092150)

If someone could ever figue out how to package a big greasy cheeseburger and send it to a guy or gal overseas you would be a national hero. the first thing i headed for when landing back in the U.S. at L.A. after a year in Nam was a Cheeseburgerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Re: another one for our Vets...

Suzanne D on 8/10/02 at 21:21 (092155)

Yes, John, those times were sad. I remember how upsetting it was to see on the news such rejection of the soldiers. It upset my father so; he was a World War II vet, and he always said how it would have hurt to have come home to the reception you all received from many.

I guess I grew up in the 60's being taught a different standard than was popular at the time. My grandparents and great-aunts next door flew the flag each day, and at a very young age I was taught respect for our flag and country.

I may have already told this story before, but I remember standing in my bed when about 4 years old when I happened to be awake when the t.v. signed off for the night as it did back then with the National Anthem. My mother came by my room about that time and was startled to see me standing in the middle of my bed. When asked what I was doing, I replied that everyone was supposed to stand whenever they heard The Star Spangled Banner! I imagine I was a funny sight.

I hope to make a difference - however small - in the lives of the children I teach. It is my opinion that what we do not respect or appreciate, we may lose, because we will not value it or work to keep it. Freedom is not to be taken lightly.

I'll quit preaching now!

Suzanne :-)

Re: another one for our Vets...

Suzanne D on 8/10/02 at 21:24 (092156)

I never even thought of audio tapes! Thank you, John, for suggesting that! We sing a lot in my room, and that would be something the children would enjoy doing.

What I remember about Barry Goldwater was writing AU H20 on my notebook in 7th grade and thinking I was grown-up to know what that stood for! :-) Also, my father had black-rimmed glasses at that time, and I thought it made him look like Goldwater. I can see why he would have been a hero to you since he provided a way for you to call home.

Suzanne :-)

Re: another one for our Vets...

Suzanne D on 8/10/02 at 21:28 (092158)

Thanks, Brian! I never would have thought of magazines. I can send a note home with the children asking interested parents to send in some that they would like to share.

Unfortunately, government regulations (Nothing can compete with the government subsidised lunches.) would keep us from selling any cookies at lunchtime; however, that gave me the idea of asking parents to donate baked items to sell at junior pro ballgames which are held starting in the fall at our school on Saturday mornings. I am sure they would be a hit there!

I'm getting excited about this project!

Suzanne :-)

Re: another one for our Vets...

Nancy N on 8/10/02 at 23:13 (092166)

I have an old pin of my mother's, which is a gold elephant with black-rimmed glasses. Never thouht about it before, but maybe I should have it appraised, it might be worth something. I always thought it was much more clever than a traditional campaign button.

Re: another one for our Vets...

Suzanne D on 8/11/02 at 06:52 (092173)

That sounds unique, Nancy! I don't remember seeing such a pin, but of course I grew up in a very small town. I would check it out; it could be more valuable than you think!

Re: another one for our Vets...

JudyS on 8/11/02 at 17:08 (092238)

Suzanne - Would you be interested in broadening the scope of senders? That is, if you come up with something generic (like magazines, etc.) perhaps we PFers could join your class with mailings.

Re: another one for our Vets...

Suzanne D on 8/11/02 at 18:17 (092246)

Great, Judy! I'll let you all know as soon as I can get some plans together, and any help will be much appreciated!

Suzanne :-)

Re: another one for our Vets...

Necee on 8/12/02 at 20:50 (092315)

I sure have enjoyed reading this!!!
All the ideas and suggestions are great ones, Suzanne you will make a difference in the lives of those young ones you teach. I just wish more teachers were as caring and compassionate as you are.
All the best to you in your new year of teaching.

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: another one for our Vets...

Suzanne D on 8/13/02 at 15:31 (092380)

Thank you, Necee.

Suzanne :-)

Re: another one for our Vets...

BrianG on 8/09/02 at 21:34 (092101)

Good job Suzanne, especially the part with the pledge and his flag. This has what has helped to make our country be free. May kids every where have this honor!!!

I wrote to a co-worker during Desert Storm. It was such a dry, arid area, I thought he might like some liquid refreshment. I took a chance and sent him some vodka :*) The next morning, he wished I didn't, hahahaaa. Hundreds of pallets of goodies from home were going out weekly. No way they could check everything! Maybe your kids can do a couple projects to make a few dollars. I'm sure your new friend would like a goodie bag while he's 'over there'.

Nice story!
BrianG

Re: another one for our Vets...

Suzanne D on 8/09/02 at 21:52 (092103)

Good idea, Brian! Maybe you can give me some ideas about what might be good to send(of course, excluding liguid refreshment - ha!) :-) The thought about the kids doing a project to earn some money interests me, too. It would mean more to them if they felt like they helped earn the money to buy some things. I will think about that this weekend...

One of my little girls in my room visited Washington, D.C. this summer and told us that her guide at the Pentagon was someone who survived the crash there on September 11. Sometimes it is easy to underestimate first graders. She is a very bright little girl and seemed particularly thrilled with meeting a 'real soldier' as I heard her tell another child.

Thanks for your input! Any ideas on this project will be welcome.

Suzanne :-)

Re: another one for our Vets...

BrianG on 8/10/02 at 10:40 (092120)

Hahahaaa, I am probably the last person you would want to give suggestions for your students. I have no kids, and I graduated from 1st grade about 47 years ago :*)

How about having the kids bring in some cookies and baked goods. You could set up a table in the lunch room at noon time. I know I would have bought some fresh, home made chockolate chip cookies if I ever saw them for sale!!

One thing that my friend liked, and he could share with his buddies, was magazines. I'd send him stuff like Sports Illustrated, Field and Stream, Car and Driver, etc.

Good luck
BrianG

Re: another one for our Vets...

john h on 8/10/02 at 19:11 (092147)

I cannot tell you how much such notes would mean to a serviceman in some remote part of the world. Mail Call is perhaps the most important part of every day even though the letter sometimes takes weeks or more to arrive. Audio tapes are great also Suzanne. Perhaps a little song from the kids. In my day we were not as high tech as today with email and such but I shall never forget Barry Goldwater sponsering a very large shortwave radio complex where we could call home for free on short wave. It was crude but Barry was a hero to many a soldier.

Re: another one for our Vets...

john h on 8/10/02 at 19:17 (092148)

Suzanne: How wonderfully refreshing it is to hear children are excited about a soldier comming to visit your class. Having served through Vietnam era and spent two years there we would not have been welcome at any school and would probably have been booed. I remember on my way to Vietnam the first time in 1968 we were advised not to wear our uniform in downtown San Francisco. Times have sure changed for the better.

Re: another one for our Vets...

john h on 8/10/02 at 19:21 (092149)

Brian all the baked goods I ever received were in complete crumbs by the time they got to me. That was ok though because it was from home.

Re: another one for our Vets...

john h on 8/10/02 at 19:23 (092150)

If someone could ever figue out how to package a big greasy cheeseburger and send it to a guy or gal overseas you would be a national hero. the first thing i headed for when landing back in the U.S. at L.A. after a year in Nam was a Cheeseburgerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Re: another one for our Vets...

Suzanne D on 8/10/02 at 21:21 (092155)

Yes, John, those times were sad. I remember how upsetting it was to see on the news such rejection of the soldiers. It upset my father so; he was a World War II vet, and he always said how it would have hurt to have come home to the reception you all received from many.

I guess I grew up in the 60's being taught a different standard than was popular at the time. My grandparents and great-aunts next door flew the flag each day, and at a very young age I was taught respect for our flag and country.

I may have already told this story before, but I remember standing in my bed when about 4 years old when I happened to be awake when the t.v. signed off for the night as it did back then with the National Anthem. My mother came by my room about that time and was startled to see me standing in the middle of my bed. When asked what I was doing, I replied that everyone was supposed to stand whenever they heard The Star Spangled Banner! I imagine I was a funny sight.

I hope to make a difference - however small - in the lives of the children I teach. It is my opinion that what we do not respect or appreciate, we may lose, because we will not value it or work to keep it. Freedom is not to be taken lightly.

I'll quit preaching now!

Suzanne :-)

Re: another one for our Vets...

Suzanne D on 8/10/02 at 21:24 (092156)

I never even thought of audio tapes! Thank you, John, for suggesting that! We sing a lot in my room, and that would be something the children would enjoy doing.

What I remember about Barry Goldwater was writing AU H20 on my notebook in 7th grade and thinking I was grown-up to know what that stood for! :-) Also, my father had black-rimmed glasses at that time, and I thought it made him look like Goldwater. I can see why he would have been a hero to you since he provided a way for you to call home.

Suzanne :-)

Re: another one for our Vets...

Suzanne D on 8/10/02 at 21:28 (092158)

Thanks, Brian! I never would have thought of magazines. I can send a note home with the children asking interested parents to send in some that they would like to share.

Unfortunately, government regulations (Nothing can compete with the government subsidised lunches.) would keep us from selling any cookies at lunchtime; however, that gave me the idea of asking parents to donate baked items to sell at junior pro ballgames which are held starting in the fall at our school on Saturday mornings. I am sure they would be a hit there!

I'm getting excited about this project!

Suzanne :-)

Re: another one for our Vets...

Nancy N on 8/10/02 at 23:13 (092166)

I have an old pin of my mother's, which is a gold elephant with black-rimmed glasses. Never thouht about it before, but maybe I should have it appraised, it might be worth something. I always thought it was much more clever than a traditional campaign button.

Re: another one for our Vets...

Suzanne D on 8/11/02 at 06:52 (092173)

That sounds unique, Nancy! I don't remember seeing such a pin, but of course I grew up in a very small town. I would check it out; it could be more valuable than you think!

Re: another one for our Vets...

JudyS on 8/11/02 at 17:08 (092238)

Suzanne - Would you be interested in broadening the scope of senders? That is, if you come up with something generic (like magazines, etc.) perhaps we PFers could join your class with mailings.

Re: another one for our Vets...

Suzanne D on 8/11/02 at 18:17 (092246)

Great, Judy! I'll let you all know as soon as I can get some plans together, and any help will be much appreciated!

Suzanne :-)

Re: another one for our Vets...

Necee on 8/12/02 at 20:50 (092315)

I sure have enjoyed reading this!!!
All the ideas and suggestions are great ones, Suzanne you will make a difference in the lives of those young ones you teach. I just wish more teachers were as caring and compassionate as you are.
All the best to you in your new year of teaching.

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: another one for our Vets...

Suzanne D on 8/13/02 at 15:31 (092380)

Thank you, Necee.

Suzanne :-)