During the week of November 11, 2021, Ms. Dutcher and Miss D’Agata’s first-grade class, at the George L. Cooke Elementary School in Monticello, learned all about veterans and Veteran’s Day. The students had the opportunity to meet several veterans and ask them questions such as “Why did they become a soldier?”, “What was it like to be a soldier?”, and “How did they stay in contact with their families when they were deployed?”. Two of the veterans that visited were Retired U.S. Army Sergeant Michael Epstein (A co 7/6 inf, 3rd Bde, 1st Armored Division) and Retired U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Joseph Kavanaugh (E-6).
Sergeant Epstein joined the class through Zoom. He spoke to the students about his job in the Army being a gunner on a Bradley. The students asked him if he was ever deployed to another country. He told them that he fought in Desert Storm and was deployed to Germany and Saudi Arabia, as well. The students were very interested in how Sergeant Epstein kept in contact with his family while he was deployed. He told the students that it was mostly through letters. The final questions the students asked were “What was the best part of being in the military?” and “What was the worst part of being in the military?”. Sergeant Epstein replied that the best part was making the friends that he still has today. The worst part was being so tired but continuing on because they needed to complete their mission. Sergeant Epstein came back a second time for the students to share that they wrote thank you letters to mail out to a local veteran group. Thank you, Sergeant Epstein.
Sergeant Kavanaugh joined the class in person on Wednesday, November 10th for the 246th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. He spoke to the students about his 20 years of service in the corps. Sergeant Kavanaugh also fought during Desert Storm. The students were very interested to learn that, while deployed in the field, Sergeant Kavanaugh and his platoon would sleep on the ground with just their jackets as pillows. Sergeant Kavanaugh talked about how he would train for his job in the military and keep on training and practicing so that he got better and better. He related his experiences to what the students need to do in school. He spoke to them about always striving to get better at whatever they want to do. The students asked Sergeant Kavanaugh the best part of being in the Marines and the worst part of being in the Marines. Sergeant Kavanaugh mirrored what Army Sergeant Michael Epstein said about the best part of the military was making the friends that he still has today. The worst part of being in the military was missing his family. Thank you, Sergeant Kavanaugh.
The students learned a lot about our veterans but they also learned a lot about working hard and always striving to do better.
Here is a picture of our USA Flag bulletin board that the students helped to measure and create.