NEWBERRY — Newberry Middle School said thank you to those who have served the country with a special Veterans Day program on Friday.
The day started with a breakfast for the veterans around the county who ate breakfast with the middle school students. Then the school hosted an assembly in which students paid tribute through songs, poems and other commentaries.
Principal Kelli Farmer said, “Our school has celebrated this week and we are also collecting money for Honor Flight,” in regards to the school helping to raise money to send a veteran to Washington, D.C.
Farmer also reminisced about her thread connected to veterans, “I came from a family of veterans. A lot of family members have made sacrifices. Sometimes we take for granted our daily freedoms.”
During the assembly, a handful of students made presentations about what they had written as well as a presentation with the table setting that represents veterans who may be serving overseas.
There were a few student winners who were chosen to speak about what they had written about veterans. The student winners from each grade were: Candance Coleman, eighth grade; Iyanna Ramos, seventh grade and Vanessa Hershaw, sixth grade.
They expressed their thanks in their own words for those who have served America.
The students and teachers applauded the veterans at the end of the assembly but the honor was not over.
Some of the veterans volunteered to visit a classroom to talk about their experience and answer any questions that students had about the military or their service.
Army Spc. Thomas Dudley came to Susan Lester’s classroom.
Dudley served during peacetime and also has a granddaughter, CiCi Corley, at Newberry Middle.
Dudley expressed his gratitude to the school for their honoring of the veterans.
“My tour of duty was two years,” said Dudley, “From 1961 to 1963 during peacetime. I traveled to Germany.”
In reference to obeying orders and commands, Dudley said, “If you are going to be a soldier, you have to do what he (lieutenant or officer in charge) asks.”
Dudley was drafted into the C company of the Army and says, “I spent 18 months away from my family.”
Dudley answered a question from a student who asked what the C company is and he answered by saying there are three companies - A, B and C - and also says that someone had told him that he should hope not to get into the C company as it is known to be tougher and stricter.
However, Dudley says he was glad to be in the C company.
“Id rather be in that company (C) than any other. People in that company had their head on straight,” said Dudley.
In regards to keeping in touch with his former military comrades, he said, “I had two close friends. One thing about being in the military, you do so much you forget to get addresses. That’s one thing a person needs to do, get an address and keep up with communication.”