Numa students honor veterans | NevadaAppeal.com

Numa students honor veterans

Christine Kuklica
ckuklica@lahontanvalleynews.com

Numa Elementary School honored on Monday military members who have served or are serving in the armed forces at their Veterans Day program.

Third-grade teacher Kieran Kalt, who was in the Nevada Army National Guard for eight years, put together the event and the speakers for the program.

Boy Scout Troop 38 presented the color guard and Blake Oberkrom from Naval Air Station Fallon sang the national anthem.

Capt. Leif Steinbaugh, commander of NAS Fallon, engaged the students by asking them several questions about how to become a veteran and how long the United States has been at war.

"Both of my grandfathers were in the Army during World War II," Steinbaugh said. "One of them made a career out of it and stayed in for 30 years and fought in Korea. My father was in the Marine Corps and fought during Vietnam. When it came my turn, I knew I wanted to join the military. I knew I wanted to do something exciting … so I learned how to fly jets and that's what I do."

He added joining the military isn't all about the exciting parts and that a lot of it is unknown. He said the excitement of his job came second to the people he worked with and service to the country. He said that is what kept him in the military.

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Students who won the Veterans Day writing contest read their essays for the audience. Some of the students had their parents who are currently serving stand with them while they read.

First-grader Raeden Buchanan said veterans help the country because they fight for freedom and protect the United States.

"Veterans Day to me means people fighting for our country," third-grader Colin Shishido said. "Our teacher saves people's lives. When people die in the military, they get a 12-gun salute. My dad has been in the military for seven years, four in Washington, D.C. and three in Fallon. He gets out of the Navy Aug. 15, 2015. Why do people have to sign papers to get in the military? You have to be a good citizen to join the military. I honor and love my dad and his hard work in the military. And as my football coach, I'd like to be like my dad and join the Navy some day."

Fourth-grader Rylee Nichols said Veterans Day is important for three reasons. She said veterans are courageous because they risk their lives to save others, they give the United States freedom and her great grandfather was a veteran, serving in the Air Force for eight years and the Navy for four.

After the students read their essays, the Numa choir directed by Tina Koenig sang the "Armed Forces Salute Medley" and "Thank You Veterans" while a slide show of community veterans was displayed. Veterans were asked to stand when their military branch song was being sung so they could be honored.

Petty Officer Second Class Christy Barton spoke to the audience about the increase of women in the military.

"I come from a big military family," Barton said. "My grandfathers, cousins, uncles, brothers are all in the military, and I am the first female in my family to serve. There are currently more than 300,000 women serving in the military. The Navy is helping me pay for school, I travel the world and I've met so many great people. I'm having a great experience and I'm proud of being a part of the worlds greatest Navy."

Mike Terry, a retired Navy Master Chief, from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion concluded the program by stating what a veteran is.

"A veteran is a man or a woman who understand the price of a life's intangible, justice and democracy," he said. "His motto is to live and let live but he to between servant and conflict the veteran would once again answer a call to duty because all else, a veteran is an American."

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