Andrew Williams and Aaron Simpson, Fort Rucker Primary School students, learn how to properly fold a flag with the help of DAVA members after presenting their handmade cards to the organization to be sent to disabled veterans across Alabama Dec. 5. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)
Published: December 11, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (December 11, 2014) -- The season of gift giving isn’t complete without the right gift for friends and family members, but for students of Fort Rucker schools, the season wouldn’t be complete without remembering those who came before and sacrificed for the freedoms Americans enjoy.
That’s why the students of Fort Rucker’s Elementary and Primary schools took the time to create handmade cards for disabled veterans across Alabama to show that even many years after their service to the country, they are not forgotten.
Fort Rucker schools partnered with the Enterprise-Coffee County Unit 9 Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary to make sure the disabled veterans had something to look forward to this holiday season and provide an important lesson of giving for the children.
“This is such an important event because (the children) are a part of (military life), they live it every day with parents being deployed, and they understand it more than children whose parents aren’t part of the military,” said René Hammond, Fort Rucker Primary School guidance counselor. “They understand the importance of sacrifice and giving back.”
Nearly 350 children from FRPS and countless more from Fort Rucker Elementary School created the handmade cards to be presented to veterans across the state.
“The children all prepared a card, and we come and pick them up when they’re ready and sort them out and distribute them to different Veterans Affairs hospitals across Alabama,” said Iris Keen, DAVA member. “We just want to support our disabled veterans and show them a little Christmas cheer.”
The cards will be distributed to VA hospitals in Tuskegee, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.
“It’s important for the children to get involved so that they understand that people have sacrificed a whole lot for the freedoms that we have in this country,” said Keen. “We want the kids to understand that it’s important to remember those who have fought for our rights and have served our country.”
“One thing I stressed when the children made the cards is for them to realize that these cards are going to our veterans and a lot of them might not get cards or gifts from their families, so I told them to put lots of love and color in them when they make them because their card may be the only card that they have,” said Hammond, adding the children didn’t disappoint with their creativity and caring.
Keen said that the creativity and care that the children put into their cards is reflected on the faces of the veterans who receive them.
“It thrills (the veterans), especially for them to receive handmade cards – that’s the whole beauty of it – that (the children) have taken the time to do something from their hearts,” she said. “It just means so much to them and I’m hoping that it means as much to the children.”
In a show of appreciation in return to the schools and the children, the DAVA presented a new flag to the school.
“We wanted to show our appreciation to the school, the children and the teachers for their support of the disabled veterans and our program,” said Keen. “I think that everybody needs a new flag from time to time, and this is a good opportunity for the children to learn about the flag and what it means to our country.”
During the presentation, the DAVA members also showed the children how to properly fold a flag, and even gave the students the opportunity to try folding it themselves.
“We just really want to thank the schools and the children for everything they’ve done for the veterans, and this is our way of showing them how much we appreciate it,” said Keen.
This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/139854/
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