PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. --
The 157th Civil Engineer Squadron gave thanks to the students of McClelland Elementary School, Portsmouth Christian Academy, and the Garrison Elementary School during ceremonies held at each school on March 27, 2018 and then on March 30, 2018, for their support while the Airmen were deployed to the Middle East over the last holiday season.
The group of students sent the Engineers 900 letters and cards throughout the engineers time overseas.
During the ceremony at the McClellan school in Rochester, N.H. the students first sang patriotic songs and then read jokes they created to the visiting Airmen.
Lt Col. Eugene R. Mozzoni 157th CES commander, presented the school with gifts and thanked the students for the letters. Each school received an American flag, a certificate, and a book describing a country in the Middle East. The American flag presented at the McClelland School was flown over the country of Kuwait.
“Our school is very patriotic,” said Michelle McAlister, the McClelland Elementary School Principal. “We really have them know and respect their country.”
McAlister explained the importance of the military visits to her students.
“No matter what branch of the military that visits this school, it makes the kids remember what this country is all about.” Said McAlister. “We can’t say thank you enough from the bottom of our hearts for what the military does for us.”
Beth Dunton, Garrison Elementary School Principal, Dover, N.H. said she saw the interaction with the military members and the students as a great learning experience.
“You heard some of the kids ask some really good questions, they may not know how big of a question it is, but it is very important to expose the kids to the idea of believing in something bigger than themselves. “
Karrie Abood, Portsmouth Christian Academy Elementary School Principal, also of Dover, said she saw the visit of the Airman as a chance to have the students experience the outcome of their actions.
“Sometimes the things we do, acts of service may seem insignificant or small,” Said Abood “We may not think about it again. When the Airmen arrived at the school, the children understood their selfless act did have a big impact.”
Mozoni had his own words of praise for the students.
“The holiday joy and thanks the children sent to the deployers over the holiday was very much appreciated by the deployed members of the squadron.” Said Mozzoni after the ceremony at the McClelland School. “This ceremony recognizes the children for taking time out of their day to create pictures and cards for the holiday and then send them to the deployed Airmen.”