Thursday, November 12, 2015

Happy (late) Veteran's Day!

This post is a day late, but I did want to take some time to thank our veterans for all that they have done for our country. Both of my grandparents served in the armed forces. My maternal grandfather served in Korea. My paternal grandfather also served overseas. Many of my uncles and cousins are in the National Guard. My father was in the guard for 20 years. He didn't serve in any foreign conflicts, but he did get called up a few times to go help with flood control in neighboring states. I remember when he would go away for Guards on the weekends. I never really understood what that was about until I was in high school. When I was in high school, my uncle was called up to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. His daughter, my cousin, is quite close to me in age, so I remember imagining how hard it must have been without her dad around. I could really put myself in her shoes at that point. I remember at our family reunion that summer putting together letters and a large poster board of memories to send to him. Someone even rubbed a little hot dish on the poster board and wrote "scratch & sniff!" Gotta love my family of goofballs! I have to say that I really respect my uncle for his service. I have another uncle that served in Operation Desert Storm in 1991. I was two at the time, so I don't remember this, but I am thankful for his service as well. Currently, my brother is signed on with the National Guard as a fuel supply specialist. I also have a cousin who is deployed. I am thankful to all of them and all other veterans for their service.

Left to right: Brian Wensmann, Jim Wensmann (Operation Iraqi Freedom), Daniel Yorek (deployed), Marvin Wensmann (my dad), Andrew Wensmann (my brother)

Yesterday morning,  I woke up to a text from my brother reminding me to thank a veteran. I assured him that I would be working hard to thank a lot of veterans at school that day. Pinewood Elementary had a fantastic Veterans Day program yesterday. It made me proud to be a part of this school. It began with a breakfast for our veteran guests and the students who invited them. I helped by setting up a video playlist to be played continuously throughout the breakfast. I rushed back after 45 minutes to transfer the projector set up to the other gym across the school for our school wide presentation. This presentation included the principal sharing a video and a book, our 5th grade choir singing a few songs (beautifully!), and students sharing essays that they wrote.

The local VFW Color Guard presented and retired the flag.

The essays that were written by the students brought a tear to my eye. Two students wrote about veterans in general. They wrote that they are our superheroes and they hold our country together. Another 5th grade student shared words beyond her years about her grandfather and his service to our country. Finally, another student shared about her aunt. These essays and the singing of the choir were highlights of the program today.
I hope you enjoyed the clips of the program. Thank you to all our service men and women! Happy late Veteran's Day!