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hen Lincoln Middle School eighth grade student Shanel Ormaza eagerly awaited the much anticipated veterans her teacher said would be visiting her classroom, Shanel had no idea that her father was planning to surprise her as one of the featured guests.

 

First Sergeant Wilson Ormaza entered the English classroom in full uniform, stunning his daughter as part of a “Veterans in the Classroom” visit, sponsored by the Kearny V.F.W. Post 1302, and led by Commander Jennifer Long.

 

Team 7/8 E students of Language Arts teacher, Ms. Kliszus, and Social Studies teacher, Mr. Michael O’Neil, had collaborated to prepare students for this special day. Students researched the armed forces branches, the meaning of service, a timeline of the major American wars, and famous patriotic songs, images, and photographs.

 

Finally, on Monday, November 14th, students, faculty, and administration welcomed both Sergeant Major Long, and First Sergeant Ormaza into the Team 7/8 E classrooms in celebration and honor of Veterans Day.

 

Sergeant Major Jennifer Long served 28 years in the U.S. Army, and is current commander of the local Kearny V.F.W. branch, and also the district commander of the Hudson County V.F.W. posts. First Sergeant Ormaza has been actively serving in the U.S. Army for 19 years, including a deployment in Baghdad, Iraq when his daughter was just one years old. First Sergeant Ormaza is also an alumnus of both Lincoln School, and Kearny High School.

 

 

In addition to explaining to the students the breadth and rigors of their service, the meaning of being an American, and the significance of the United States flag, the students had the opportunity to see and touch various military paraphernalia.

 

Sergeant Major Long passed around her bullet-resistant, camouflage army helmet. First Sergeant Ormaza presented photographs of his deployment and service in Baghdad, and videos of his training, which included rappelling out of helicopters.

 

The students had the opportunity for question and answer sessions, with questions ranging from, "what was your most difficult moment of service?," to "was it hard to leave your family?"

 

Finally, the students thanked our special visitors by presenting them with unique felt poppies, made by each student, with special messages written on the back of the petals.

 

The true gift bestowed, however, was the one left in the hearts and minds of our young Americans—a greater sense of pride for our country, a greater knowledge and meaning of sacrifice, and a greater appreciation for freedom.

Lincoln Middle School Respect Bridge

Lincoln Middle School Respect Bridge

  

Our Week Of Respect project that reads. Respect- Learn It, Give It, Earn It, Get It

It Takes Both Sides To Build A Bridge. All of the pillars are signed by all of our staff and students