WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Veterans Share Stories At Alexandria School

Play associated audio
Students at Mount Vernon Woods Elementary with General Allison Hickey for "Take a Veteran to School Day."
Markette Smith
  Students at Mount Vernon Woods Elementary with General Allison Hickey for "Take a Veteran to School Day."  


Students at more than 100 Virginia schools got a firsthand account of what life is like in the military when they participated in the History Channel's "Take a Veteran to School Day" Nov. 9. It was the fifth year of a program that brings war veterans together with school children. 

Students lined up outside Mount Vernon Woods Elementary in Alexandria, waving American flags and cheering as half dozen veterans walk up to their school.

"I almost feel like a rock star here today," says General Allison Hickey, a retired Air Force pilot. She moves past the hero's welcome at the front doors to a 5th grade classroom, where she recounts her days refueling fighter planes in the sky.

"We would have another airplane that flew up right underneath us and we had this long pole from our airplane into theirs so they could make it to where they needed to go," Hickey says. 

"Were you, like, worried?" asks one student. 

"It was a little dangerous. It could be a little scary," says Hickey.

The story provides a bit of comfort and insight to the students, about half of whom have someone in their immediate family in the military. While the whole point of "Take a Veteran to School" day is for the children to show appreciation for members of the military, the General says she's also glad to give something back. 

"They sacrifice so much as military kids," she says. "I was a military kid, too. So I have a special heart for that."

Keona Fulton, a 5th grader, says today's program reminds her of her uncle, who's on active duty. "When I see him I always give him a hug. and I always say thank you," Keona says.

That simple 'thank you,' is all anyone has to do to show their appreciation, says Hickey.



Rapid Learners: How Pixar Animators Created A Very Scary River

What would a small dinosaur look like in Class V rapids? That's the question Pixar filmmakers had to answer for their film The Good Dinosaur. So they piled into a raft to figure it out for themselves.

We Tried A Futuristic Cranberry. It Was Fresh And Naturally Sweet

Cranberry breeders in Wisconsin have developed a berry that's tart but also sweet, like a Granny Smith apple. They say the variety isn't ready for production but could one day become a fresh product.

Russian Military Jet Crash Heightens Debate Over Syria No-Fly Zone

Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio and others are supporting the idea of a no-fly zone over Syria to try to help civilians there. But skeptics say it no longer has any relevance to today's Syrian crisis.

Used Rocket Is A New Breakthrough For Blue Origin's Space Plan

Blue Origin, the space company founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, has sent a craft past the edge of space and then landed its rocket safely – and vertically — in Texas.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.