Students learn more about Veterans Day
Monday, 19 November 2012 by Grayson Edds
South Belton Middle School participated in its first annual Bring a Vet to School Day sponsored by the History Channel.
The program encourages schools across the nation to learn more about what it means to be a veteran, the service that members of our military do for our country, and why we set aside a special day to honor them.
"We have a short documentary that we created about it and study guides and other material that connect Veterans Day to schools," said History Channel's Dr. Kimberly Gilmore. "That's how we launched it. Then we found that a lot of schools took the idea and ran with it."
Teacher Donna Bownds was engaged in the program when she worked at Clear Creek, and brought the program with her to South Belton Middle School when she transferred to BISD this year.
"We supply the schools with t-shirts and banners," said Gilmore. "They're great local projects, and they're different in every city."
As popularity of Bring a Vet to School Day has grown, the History Channel continues to try to attend as many events as possible.
"We each try to go to four or five events each year," Gilmore said. "This year was a little tough because the elections were this week, and then Veterans Day fell on a Sunday. But I think it's a great way for kids to get together across generations with people."
She said that even though some kids know that their grandparent was a veteran, they might not know the totality of what that entails.
State Representative Ralph Sheffield said he knows the importance that veterans have on our country and their needs due to his service as vice chair of Defense Veterans Affairs during his last session.
"We heard a lot of veterans' issues, and we worked very hard to make sure that veterans' issues were addressed," he said. "I made sure the funding was there for the veterans's commission here in Texas to help the veterans, especially the ones that are coming home now that have some issues that need to be dealt with. More importantly, this is about the veterans, and, veterans, I want to thank you for your service and continued service and God bless you all.
Vicky Carpenter from Time Warner Cable was in attendance and said that this is one of the initiatives that the company promotes and supports each year.
The 6th grade girls choir sang Let Freedom Ring for the veterans during their breakfast before the veterans were released to continue through the day's events.
Dr. Gilmore and various veterans spent the remainder of the day speaking with students of the middle school about the importance and meaning of Veterans Day during the student's history classes.
For more information on this initiative, visit www.history.com/veterans.