FORT BLISS, Texas--Soldiers from Fort Bliss reached out to Moye Elementary School Nov. 7, to participate in a Veterans Day flag ceremony. The ceremony was the kickoff to the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division's mentor program with the school, said 2nd Lt. Andy A. Sadoun, the officer in charge of the program.

"For the first event, they called on the mentors and we were happy to come over," said Sadoun.

Students and staff of Moye stood around the flagpole and Soldiers saluted as the flag rose and reveille played. Next, the National Anthem began and the students proudly held their hands over their hearts.

"The kids get a real shine in their eyes," said Alicia E. Ayala, principal of Moye. This was the first time in three years there was such a large group of Soldiers volunteering, so they were very excited, said Ayala.

Once the flag was raised, Lt. Col. Patricia A. Sellers, commander of brigade's Special Troops Battalion, spoke to the students about what Veterans Day means and why it is important. Sellers also spoke about the American flag, what it represents and how to respect it.

The students ... "are learning about Veterans Day in their curriculum," said Ayala. "But the uniform and the number of Soldiers really impacts them."

"My teacher told us about the holidays like Labor Day," said Jailene F. Garcia, a 5th grade student at Moye.
"It was cool," said Garcia. "I really liked seeing them."

Soldiers from the brigade will return to the elementary school to participate in other student-Soldier activities such as sports, tutoring and field trips in the coming months.

"I feel privileged to be out here today," said Pfc. Rebecca M. LeMieux, one of the brigade's volunteer Soldiers. "I'm excited to come back and help out."

Page last updated Tue December 2nd, 2008 at 12:33