Coronado Middle School continued its proud tradition of Take a Vet to School Day as they honored veterans ranging in service from WWII to today at a ceremony on November 8th. With honored guests including WWII Veterans Tom Rice, from the 101st Airborne, Gil Nadeau, a former Navy Signalman, Andre Chappez and Tom Foreman, along with Mayor Richard Bailey, CAPT Tim Slentz, and Congressman Scott Peters, there was an impressive showing and incredible stories shared. The event kicked off with a hearty breakfast and a beautiful rendition of the song “We Honor You” performed by the Coronado Middle School Choir.
WWII vets pose for a photo with Mayor Bailey and former Chargers linebacker Donnie Edwards. Edwards was nominated for the Salute to Service Award for his work with Veterans. Photo courtesy of Amy Schiaffino.Principal Karin Mellina kicked off the event saying, “We’re fortunate to live in this close-knit, connected community of Coronado and we are happy to celebrate our 11th year of Take a Vet to School which was brought to Coronado by a former CUSD teacher, Amy Steward. We are honored to recognize and acknowledge all of the active and retired veterans who serve and sacrifice.”
Congressman Peters provided brief remarks as did CAPT Slentz before a special Veterans Day video put together by the KCMS students was shown. After the breakfast the veterans went into classrooms to share stories of their service with the students. From Military Doctors and Lawyers to Navy Pilots and Explosive Ordnance Divers, students heard war stories and sea stories that will shape their understanding of why people serve in the military and help them appreciate the sacrifices made to safeguard our freedoms.
The event concluded with a “Line of Gratitude” where the students lined the field as the band played military service hymns. The veterans walked through the line of gratitude, giving high fives to the students as they waved American Flags and thanked the veterans for their service.
The Coronado Middle School event was sponsored by Charter/Spectrum and the History Channel (HISTORY a division of A+E Networks). “We are proud to partner with HISTORY to celebrate Take a Veteran to School Day in Coronado,” said Felipe Monroig, Spectrum Sr. Director, Government Affairs. “By sharing their remarkable stories of service with today’s students, we ensure tomorrow’s leaders understand and appreciate their devotion to our nation.” In 2019, schools in all 50 states are expected to participate in the Take a Veteran to School Outreach Program.