On Veterans Day students at DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts lined the school’s halls, waved American flags and chanted “Go USA!” as approximately a dozen military veterans walked throughout the school greeting the students.
That was DESA’s way of saying “thank you’ for their service and acknowledge their contributions to our national security,” said Rozalyn M. Todd, DESA’s discovery/gifted liaison. “The mission of inviting a veteran to DESA is to show appreciation and express gratitude for members of the U.S. military both past and present.”
After the processional, some veterans visited classrooms to talk to students.
“I love wearing this uniform,” U. S. Army Reserves Specialist Demarcus Brownlee, 29, told sixth-graders. “I can do a lot with that.”
Brownlee, who will soon be promoted to sergeant, will be deployed for the first time in six months.
“I need some pen pals when I’m gone, so all of y’all can write me a letter,” Brownlee told the students.
One student asked Brownlee whether the military is scary.
“You’re supposed to be scared,” he said. “It makes you focus. When I get deployed, I’m scared. But that’s going to bring me back home.”
During the question-and-answer session, Brownlee told the students about various aspects of military life including nutrition, compensation, promotions, career opportunities and overseas travel.
“When I joined the military it taught me everything: money management, discipline, respect,” Brownlee said. “The Army—it’s a good thing,” Brownlee said. “I actually love it.”
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