Veterans Share Their Experiences at Middle School

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More than a dozen local veterans shared their stories with students at Edmund W. Miles Middle School in the Amityville Union Free School District during Take a Veteran to School Day on Nov. 7.

The veterans came from all different branches of the military, having served as far back as World War II and as recently as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They talked about why they joined the military, their overseas experiences, the difficulties they faced being away from their families, and the pride they still feel today knowing they served their country. Students asked questions and documented what they learned on a Participation Passport.

“It’s such a great learning experience for the students and a great way for them to understand Veterans Day,” said Jaclyn O’Hagan, chairwoman of the social studies department. “We want our students to honor the veterans and to learn from them.”

As veterans arrived, they were met with a colorful banner in the lobby with all of their names written on red stars. Members of the National Junior Honor Society escorted them to the classes.

Among the speakers was Amityville Board of Education Trustee Juan Leon, who served in the Army from 2003 to 2010 was deployed to Afghanistan. He shared many photos from his service abroad in a presentation to students.

“We have veterans from all different eras coming here and sharing their experiences,” Mr. Leon said. “It’s living history right in our community.”