Veterans Day 2014

[dropcap style=”color: #9b9b9b;”]W[/dropcap]hen I decided to dedicate this week on the blog to our Cincinnati farewell tour, I forgot about Veterans Day. And how can I not write about Veterans Day, especially when this year’s celebration was especially sweet? So before I resume posts about Ohio, here’s what today was like for us.

This year, I was the featured speaker at one of the local elementary schools. My friend Jennifer teaches there and asked if I would come in and talk. So, I participated in their assembly, which was adorable and very patriotic. The kids worked really hard, writing essays, learning songs. It was such an honor to be a part of that.

Although, I later told my friend that while I usually have no issue getting up in front of strangers, meeting with senior leaders, and in front of cameras and everything … getting up in front of kids? Oh my goodness. So much energy! I’m not sure how teachers do it every day, and I am so in awe of them for doing so. Despite my nerves, the kids were so attentive and responsive as I talked about the Air Force core values (Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do) and how those core values are similar to their own school’s core values about respect and working hard. And the best part was when all of them … I mean, ALL of them … responded with a hearty “HOORAH” when I introduced that to them. Awesome.

Afterward, I popped into one of the first grade classrooms to show them a video I made with some school kids in Afghanistan, and answered some of their questions, which ranged from topics about food, travel, different countries, and jobs in the military.

And as soon as that was over, I drove across town  to attend lunch with the girls at their school. Martin and Jaz met me in the school lobby. By request from Lola, he was wearing his ABUs, nice and clean-shaven. We waited for Lola’s class to get to the cafeteria, and the look on her face when she rounded the corner and saw us … priceless. She was so proud to have us there, and was so eager to show me how to go through the lunch line, which food to take, and how to pay for the items.

And once her lunchtime was over, Miss C was rolling in with her class. And even though she’s in the sixth grade and getting to that age where parents aren’t cool anymore, and even though we’ve been attending these lunches with her for years (as you can see HERE and HERE), she was so excited to see us, too.  It was fun listening to her explain our jobs in the military to her friends. Most already knew us, but others didn’t, and they were all very sweet and welcoming.

Such a great way to spend Veterans Day.

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Photo from 2011

I was up late last night, printing out photos for Lola’s “star of the week” poster makes me all kinds of weepy.

How is this kid almost six years old already?