For Veterans Day, Wy’east students find personal connections

Veterans Day observance was grounded in personal connections for students at Wy’east Middle School.

Sixth-graders worked on two different projects honoring veterans.

One, done by students in Sally Pritchett’s three social studies classes, is the bulletin board decorated with peace symbols and honoring veterans that the students know.

The kids filled out a short biography form for a veteran that included the name of the veteran, how they know the veteran, the branch of service, the years they served and interesting facts about their service. Students were also asked to attach a photo of their veteran to their biographies.

“The photos made the biographies much more interesting,”‘ Pritchett said.

The board includes photos of veterans from World War II (including Pritchett’s dad and his two brothers), current photos of veterans in uniform and current family photos of veterans doing everyday activities with their families and friends.

“Most of the students had family members or family friends that they were excited to share stories about, but if they didn’t know a veteran personally, they were encouraged to talk to teachers or neighbors to find a veteran to write about,” said Pritchett.

Students gave brief presentations in class, and then the biographies were placed on the bulletin board in the main hall for all to see.

“It was especially nice to have some Wy’east and Hood River Valley High School alumni photos show up,” Pritchett said.

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The other project was done by Pritchett’s sixth-grade language arts and literacy classes. The students in these two classes made homemade cards and wrote letters of appreciation to the veterans living in the Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles.

There are about 150 men and women at the home, so the kids made and wrote just over 160 cards and letters that were given to the veterans on Veterans Day.

“I’m hoping that these projects gave the kids a greater appreciation for what the men and women who served our country have done for all of us, and why it is important to honor them on Veterans Day,” Pritchett said.

A selection of ‘Dear Veteran’ letters

Dear Veteran,

I would like to thank you for defending America in times of need. Your loyalty, bravery and generosity is honorable. Thank you for giving freedom to American citizens and risking your life for others.

–– Kendra M. Wilkins

Dear Veteran,

Thank you so much for serving our country and those in need. It warms my heart that many people fought for our country with honor and freedom. I really appreciate what you have done ...

–– Jorge Ugarte

Dear Veteran,

Thank you so much for your loyalty and bravery. On this day we remember you for your service and generosity to our country. Thank you for all you have done to help us.

–– Emily Curtis

Dear Veterans,

I am very thankful that you served in the military. You are a very brave person. Thank you for all you have done to give us all freedom.

–– Ezequiel Pitones

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