Veterans Day

November 2013

For celebrating Veterans Day 2013 Seth asked me to come speak to his class. That was very nice. Of course what do you say or do to keep the interest of sixth graders. Hmmm.

To prepare for this event, the first thing we did was call the local Army Recruiting Office, explained the situation, and begged for trinkets. They obliged and we left with Army pens and Army bracelets. Then another call: this time to the Tampa Recruiting Office and then a trip downtown. It was worthwhile as we came away with Army water bottles, more Army pens, Army decals, Army pins, and four Army tote bags.

Then we hit the local Army-Navy store and bought a commercial version of MREs. (Meals Ready to Eat – or – if you’ve been them and done them – Meals Rejected by Everyone). Then we made a trip to Walmart and bought similar stuff for campers that was reasonably-enough priced so we could give 50 kids a sample. (MREs are very expensive.)

I worked up a Power Point presentation that was a mini-history-lesson on Vietnam and included some of my photos from those days. Hopefully not boring, as sixth graders have an attention span almost as short as Bonnie’s.

On Presentation-Day, I got into my jungle fatigues jacket and Bonnie cooked up the “rats” at home and we brought in small cups and spoons to distribute the samples. I began and shortly asked a question. Maybe two hands went up. I called on one of the kids and at the same time tossed him one of the water bottles. On my next question 40 hands went up.

And, yes, they loved Bonnie’s samples – a few kids even asked for seconds.

That was on a Friday. On Sunday our church honored vets so I put on my greens for the first time in years. A bit of a squeeze but they fit. My shoes had dry-rotted in the closet, but I substituted a civilian pair and no one noticed.

Presenting at Seth's class

Back in uniform after 17 years!!!