As we all know, today is Veteran's Day...a day that I am lucky enough to celebrate with my fellow Veteran's. Some of us are not lucky enough to get to enjoy this day, as they gave the ultimate sacrifice...their lives. I pray for them and their families and all current service men and women not only today but everyday.
I have been a kindergarten teacher for seven years now, but prior to that, I spent a little over 9 years serving our great nation. (To read my whole story click here.) I thank my family for being so supportive of me during that time. Especially my husband Sam, who had to endure the first whole year of our marriage without me! I also have to thank each and every one of my Battle Buddy's who helped me through Basic Training, AIT, and Deployment to Iraq. Without them, I would not have made it through the ups and downs of my service. I was going trying to tag each and every one of my Veteran friends and family on Facebook today there were nearly 90 Veteran's that I can say I served with, went to school with or am related too! What an amazingly wonderful thing that Facebook has allowed me to keep in contact with them!! I thank God for putting each and every one of them in my life! And so I say THANK YOU to them and to all Veteran's on this day!
Now on to the teacher side of things...Each year, I try to think of new ways to teach my kindergartners about Veteran's Day. Most of the time they just want to see pictures of me in uniform and my GUN! It is always about the gun with them, haha. But I love to share with them what I can about my experience as a soldier. A few years ago, I emailed our whole district and got pictures of them or their family members who were Veteran's and I made a power point presentation with the pictures and music. I sent it out to all the teachers in the district to share with their students! What a neat thing to see how many people in just our area are affected when their loved one's deploy. I have shown this power point each year to my students and then let them share with me if they know someone who is in the military.
With the help of Debbie Clement, I came up with a few different Veteran's/Memorial day quilting ideas from her book "Red, White and Blue" (My favorite book ever!!!!!) Before I got into blogging, Debbie blogged about my first quilting project for me and you can check the strands out here.
I have also designed a showcase in our school that displays pictures our staff and student's loved ones who have served or are currently our country. It also has artifacts from the military, almost like a mini museum for the kiddos. And lastly, I have to thank my supportive colleagues who have turned Friday's into "Red Shirt Friday" at our school. We purchased "Red Shirt Friday, I Support Our Troops" shirts and wear them (or any form of red) to school each Friday to show our support for our troops!
Happy Veteran's Day to all the Veteran's out there. Your service, sacrifice and dedication is greatly appreciated and does not go unnoticed. THANK YOU!