Eastmont Middle School students welcomed about 50 veterans in the community at its first Veterans Day breakfast.
Hosted by the school’s chapter of the National Junior Honor Society, the Nov. 11 breakfast included a PowerPoint program about each branch of the service and patriotic music, “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Take Five” and the “Eastmont Fight Song.”
Each of the 862 middle school students could invite a veteran and attend with their guest and his or her family. All students wrote a note to those who attended, and then the letters were bound and given to each veteran in attendance.
“We wanted to let them know we were thankful for what they did,” eighth grader and National Junior Honor Society member Sadie Herrera said. “There was one veteran here who had lost his legs, and it was so inspirational that he was here at our middle school event.”
The veteran is Marine Tyler Burdick who served as a hospital corpsman in Afghanistan. His armored vehicle was struck by an IED and he lost his feet.
NJHS fellow member Shyler Naegle said that she appreciated talking and listening to veterans in attendance.
“My dad was in the army when I was born in Germany, so it was really cool listening to all the different experiences and being grateful that they and their families were able to come,” she said.
Eighth-grader and NJHS member Thomas Johnson, who introduced the ceremony, said he appreciates the sacrifice of these veterans.
“It was hard for them to leave their families and friends, but they did it to serve our country,” he said.
Veterans Day programs were also held at Alta High School and Sunrise Elementary.