NOT since the end of World War II has this country felt such a national surge of appreciation for our veterans. In Coronado, Veterans’ Day has taken on a whole new meaning, thanks to an extremely innovative and patriotic teacher, Amy Steward.
With support from local businesses such as Post 2422 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Steward and the Coronado Middle School (CMS) are preparing to launch this year’s Take A Veteran To School event.
On Tuesday, Nov. 10, they will host 42 military veterans at CMS to meet students and share their incredible stories. The entire event is designed to bring greater attention to our veterans, and instill an enhanced level of awareness and appreciation in schoolchildren for the job these veterans have done.
One of the highlights of the day will be a parachute jump high above the Coronado High School football field. The VFW has donated funds to help make the parachute jump possible. This is their sixth consecutive year of sponsorship.
“This is very important to us,” said Michael Turner, spokesman for the Coronado VFW. “We are an aging organization, and when someone in the community, like Amy Steward, steps up to remind these young children about the sacrifices made by our veterans, it’s a blessing that knows no bounds.”
Tuesday’s event is called “Take A Veteran To School Day.” It begins at 7:20 a.m. with the arrival of veterans from every war beginning with World War II. A continental breakfast will be held, followed by a special program.
A KCMS news broadcast will be aired before the veterans break up into pairs. They will then visit and speak in every homeroom classroom on campus.
Following the program, a special tribute has been arranged as the veterans and students make their way onto the Coronado High School football field for presentations and a Color Guard ceremony, and to witness the parachute jump.
This highly anticipated event is no longer just a celebration, but a seed of awareness and appreciation in Steward’s young students that is growing wildly. And no one explains that better than CMS teacher Amy Steward.
“As a Navy Junior, I spent three years growing up in Coronado,” said Steward. “My family moved to Coronado when my dad received orders for a one year tour in Vietnam during that war.
“I attended school with Stan Stockdale and wore his father’s POW bracelet. When the POW’s were finally released, I remember staying up late to watch and listen to the names as they were read. Shortly thereafter, ADM Stockdale spoke to my sixth grade class at Glorietta Elementary School, and it was something I have never forgotten. All of this contributed in a mighty way towards influencing my feelings for our military, and especially for our veterans.”
Steward is married to a member of the Navy SEALs. Her dedication to our military and our veterans only grows with the years.
“With 40% of our student-body hailing from military families, we need to celebrate our veterans and help others understand the sacrifices they and their families make every day,” she said. “Take a Veteran to School Day is about teaching history, patriotism, and pride in our schools, community and nation. If my students learn nothing else from me, I will have been a successful teacher.“
The parachute jump takes place at 9:45 a.m., and the community is invited to attend that part of the program.
Members of Sky Dive San Diego and Sky Dive Innovations will jump from their airplane high above Coronado, with participants of the celebrated parachute team landing on the high school football field.
The History Channel, Time Warner Cable and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2422 are the sponsors of this program. The Coronado Middle School hosts the event.
Several moving videos and documentaries about veterans will be shared during a broadcast created by Steward’s Television Broadcast students. The entire broadcast will air at a later date on Coronado’s Time Warner Cable – Channel 19, and can be found at www.coronadotv.me.
Take a Veteran to School Day began in 2007 and is a national program developed by the History Channel to link veterans with students across the country. Schools and communities invite veterans to share their stories and receive thanks for their service. While the program is available year around, most schools create events surrounding the celebration of Veterans’ Day.
The skydivers participating November 10 are from Buzz Fink’s Sky Dive San Diego and Sky Dive Innovations. Fink has children in the Coronado school system and is donating the services of his group of skydivers and the airplane. Most of the jumpers are also veterans.
Coronado VFW Post 2422 is located at 557 Orange Avenue. For more information visit www.vfwpost2422.com.
To better understand the lofty goals of this promotion, view the link below showcasing a past Veteran’s Day/Take A Veteran To School Day: http://coronadotv.me/community–3/12102014-998