Proud To Be an American

A few weeks ago, Rachel's second grade class was assigned a project for Veterans Day to identify relatives who have served or are currently serving in our military. She was so excited to turn in the names of fifteen relatives and was able to quickly gather photos of most of them:

H.J. Milligan
Edna Milligan
Gary Adams
Andrew Burkhardt
B.J. Christiansen
Dr. Raymond Malouf
Curtis Loosli
Daniel Malouf
Jacob Malouf
Slade Flitton
Clark Crockett
Neil Crockett
Kent Ballard
Robert Whitney, Sr.
Robert Whitney, Jr.

Rachel's teacher posted all of the names and pictures up on a "Veteran Wall":

My maternal grandmother, Edna Milligan, was one of the only women on the wall! Students were also asked to invite their veteran relatives to come speak to the class about their experiences with the military. Since many of our veteran relatives are deceased and the others don't live nearby, Rachel asked our neighbor, David Linton (her bonus grandpa) if he would be able to go to her class.

This is the introduction Rachel gave, "This is my neighbor. We call him Boy Pam because his wife's name is Pam and my little brother can't remember his name. But his name is really David."

David shared his stories of serving in the Special Forces and jumping out of airplanes, jets, and helicopters as a paratrooper. The kids had about a hundred questions, as you can imagine. They wanted to know all sorts of things like what happens when you land water, and has he been to iFLY yet? (Okay, that was my question.) Then the kids all lined up and shook his hand, thanking him for his service to our country.

It sure made me grateful for all of those people who risk their lives to protect our freedoms. I love the story of my Grandpa Malouf when he went to the recruiting station in Salt Lake City in 1942. "You, a Doctor, want to volunteer for military service in the Navy?! Do you feel all right?"

He crossed the equator and spent the next two years eating spam, being trained to use a machine gun, catching a 35-lb Spanish mackerel to win a fishing contest, performing surgeries in less-than-desireable facilities (including a commandeered grass hut), avoiding centipedes, growing the best beard around, and learning that "WAR IS HELL" in Guadalcanal. I love that he planted a garden with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and radishes while he was there.

Thank you for serving our country!


Rebecca said...

I love this. Thank you for posting it and I echo your feelings. When I stop and think about all the sacrifices that people make to protect what we have, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and want to make good choices using the freedom that has been bought at such a high cost.

Rebecca said...

I am going to borrow some of this for a post on my blog. Thanks:)

Stephanie said...

This post and the post about voting on the 2nd are the BEST!!! LOVE it!!!

The Ballard's said...

That was fantastic. I loved Rachel introduction. Boy Pam is awesome.

Ryanne said...

Love, love, love, this class project and celebration of Veteran's Day. And I'm not loving that it was largely passed over at my kid's school (their school is great, just not in this respect). We did our own recognition of the holiday but it would be nice to be reinforced in their classes.

Jenny said...

Boy Pam is awesome. I think you have a feminist in the making with that one. Especially with the all knowing grandma. If that made any sense.

pteronarcys.esq said...

Great post, Emily. I'd love a chance to sit down with your neighbor and talk about his experiences.