Middle school students honor veterans

By Beth A. Birmingham | Nov 09, 2018
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Former Georges Valley High School graduates and veterans Kelly Thorndike, left, and Darryl Townsend, were guest speakers Nov. 9 at Oceanside Middle School's annual Veterans Day Assembly.

Thomaston — Active and retired veterans were treated to breakfast and an all-school assembly Nov. 9 at the annual Veterans Day celebration at Oceanside Middle School.

More than three dozen veterans enjoyed a breakfast served by the Student Council prior to being honored with speeches and music by members of the student body.

Members of Rockland American Legion Post No. 1 posted the colors to begin the ceremony, which included two emotional guest speakers who had graduated from the former Georges Valley High School.

Darryl Townsend, a 1985 Georges Valley graduate and a veteran of the Persian Gulf War, said there are many stories he recalls from being a United States Marine, but that more important is what happened after.

Townsend, who at that time was only 23 years old, said the time he got to spend with other veterans taught him a great deal.

"The lesson being -- there's always hope," he said,. "It doesn't come without a price, though."

He encouraged the students to visit veterans and learn from them.

Artist and veteran Kelly Thorndike, a 1981 graduate of Georges Valley, spent 2004 in Iraq at the Abu Ghraib prison with the 152nd Artillery Battalion Guard Unit before returning home with a traumatic brain injury and a Purple Heart.

He choked back emotion as he spoke about his time at war, and overcoming the obstacles of reentry into society.

Thorndike said his self-taught artistry has made him stronger than he ever was and taught him to "never quit yourself."

The working artist was presented with a check by Oceanside Middle School to help his "St. George River Veterans' Art Expedition," which is a mobile art program for wounded veterans.

Along with various musical selections from the school band and chorus, several class presentations were given honoring the veterans and their service.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.

Middle school students honor veterans
A school assembly Nov. 9 at Oceanside Middle School honors veterans. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Student Council President Ted Campbell, far left, leads attendees of the Veterans Day Assembly at Oceanside Middle School in the Pledge of Allegiance Nov. 9. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
More than three dozen veterans from various wars mingle during a breakfast in their honor Nov. 9 at Oceanside Middle School. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
American Legion Auxiliary members Helena Randall, left, and Nancy Keating look on during the annual Veterans Day Assembly at Oceanside Middle School Nov. 9. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Veterans stand to be acknowledged. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Three generations of veterans from a local family were among the more than 30 in attendance at Oceanside Middle School's annual Veterans Day Assembly Nov. 9. From left are Carleton Grey, Navy veteran; Richard Grey, Army; and Carleton Grey, Army. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Music teacher Angela Johnson, left, leads the Oceanside Middle School band in some patriotic numbers during the annual Veterans Day Assembly Nov. 9. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Rachel Burns' seventh-grade class presents a timeline of various wars during Oceanside Middle School's annual Veterans Day Assembly Nov. 9. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Ray Weatherbee, Army veteran, is presented a red poppy by teacher Sylvia Percy during the annual Veterans Day Assembly. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Members of American Legion Post No. 1, Rockland, salute the colors at the end of the annual Veterans Day Assembly at Oceanside Middle School Nov. 9. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Art teacher Sylvia Percy, right, gets ready to hand over a check for $300 to co-art teacher and veteran Kelly Thorndike, center, for his "St. George River Veterans' Art Expedition," which is a mobile art program for wounded veterans. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Led by music teacher Rebecca Leonard, back to, Oceanside Middle School choir sings "Let There Be Peace on Earth." (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Seventh grade student Kayla Baines gives an address during the Veteran's Day Assembly at Oceanside Middle School Nov. 9. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Major Steve Spearin, standing, takes a bow after being recognized at the annual Veteran's Day Assembly Nov. 9. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Lynn Snow | Nov 09, 2018 19:32

Kudos to OMS for teaching kids the importance of recognizing and appreciating our local veterans.



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