Truth camp: Students interview vets |

Truth camp: Students interview vets

TERI VANCE, Appeal Staff Writer

As part of the annual Veterans Day celebration at Carson Middle School, each eighth-grader is assigned to write a biography on a veteran.

For some students, such as Nicole Carlevato whose father is in the U.S. Navy, it’s a relatively simple task. But others, like Shateia Mack, 13, don’t know anyone who’s served in the military.

Instead of leaving them to search for veterans on their own, government teacher Ananda Campbell arranged for the military to come to them during a luncheon Wednesday in the school’s library.

Mack was paired with Nevada National Guard education service officer Renea Greenlee.

“It was great,” Mack said. “She saves other people’s lives. We should honor them.”

Carlevato, 13, served as an usher, saving her interview for her father.

“He’s had to leave our family a lot, but he always comes home,” she said. “I see him as a hero.”

Once the interviews are conducted, students will write the biographies on placards to be displayed in front of the school from Nov. 7-11. A flag-retirement ceremony to honor veterans will be held in the school’s cafeteria 9 a.m. Nov. 7. It is open to the public. Josh Groth, a private first class in the Nevada National Guard, completed a similar assignment as an eighth-grader in Campbell’s class in 1997.

He returned Wednesday to be interviewed by his sister Mackenzie Groth, 13.

“It makes me feel good as an older brother to know she looks up to me like that,” he said.

Bob Schachten served in the U.S. Navy from 1971 until 1974 and appreciated the opportunity to speak with students.

“It teaches patriotism,” he said. “It’s a responsibility as a citizen of the great United States that we help protect and preserve our country no matter what the price.”

Glenn Kunkel, a second lieutenant in the National Guard, saw the greatest benefit as breaking down stereotypes among students who are unfamiliar with the military.

“It gives them the opportunity to ask us questions they wouldn’t feel comfortable doing normally,” he said.

Next week, a students will interview veterans who live in convalescent homes.

“They have stories that need to be told,” Campbell said.

Students from Seeliger and Mark Twain elementary schools will complete placards as well.