by DJ Manou, WSBT 22 Reporter -- Friday, Nov. 8th, 2019
Lunch time is a time for students to relax. But for one group of kids, today was a special lesson. Stewart Elementary in Stevensville held a free spaghetti lunch for veterans.
Many of the vets have children or grandchildren at the school, which for some might have been just a fun day having family join them for lunch.
But for the school it was a learning lesson, and for the veterans a small token of appreciation.
There was a standing ovation for the men and women.
“Just really great. You can't put in in words. It comes out in tears,” said William Wall, WWII Navy veteran.
Wall cherishes lunch with his grandson, but also the appreciation. "Now, at 95, I look back on it and it was something to be proud of.”
Throughout the tables, parents and grandparents spent the day with their little ones.
Veteran Steven Phenegar was blown away.“To come in and have lunch with my daughter is amazing. I didn’t know things like this existed.”
A family full of veterans, Thais Taylor isn't sure her grandson fully grasps the significance.
“He loves us, but he will be proud of us too once he understands what we have actually done or do for this country.”
That's why principal Samantha Berglan organized the lunch. Fourth-graders have been learning about the military branches and Veteran's Day, but this brings it beyond books. “It was really cool to see them in uniform,” said Berglan. “Sometimes our kids never have the opportunity to see servicemen or servicewomen in their uniforms.”
Phenegar says his daughter started catching on. “She started recognizing that other people were taking notice and it made her stop and think, instead of taking for granted why these people are paying attention to her dad.”
But it was one special moment that summed it all up. Noah Compton, age 8, asking two veterans for their autograph. “My dad’s dad was in WW2, so that’s why I just really wanted to get their signature,” he said. His grandfather has since passed, but he knew he wanted to keep this memory. “That would be like once in a lifetime to do it, so that’s why I did it.”
The veterans not only thanked the kids but the teachers who gave them the opportunity.
Phenegar appreciates restaurants that give discounts on Veteran's Day, but says this event provides a personal touch worth so much more.
Link to Article:
1. Picture Included in WSBT News Story
2. Picture included in The Wall Street Journal on November 9, 2019