• Zane Daniel Flores is all smiles as he awaits bus no. 74 that will take him to Harrison Elementary in Prince George County just outside of Fort Lee.  The kindergartner started his first day of school Sept. 12.  His experience is typical of military children all across the nation starting school for the first time.

    Smiles

    Zane Daniel Flores is all smiles as he awaits bus no. 74 that will take him to Harrison Elementary in Prince George County just outside of Fort Lee. The kindergartner started his first day of school Sept. 12. His experience is typical of military...

  • Staff Sgt. Jose Flores makes pancakes for Zane and his younger brother, Beau.  The Soldier got time off to be with Zane before sending him off for his first day of school.

    Pancakes for breakfast

    Staff Sgt. Jose Flores makes pancakes for Zane and his younger brother, Beau. The Soldier got time off to be with Zane before sending him off for his first day of school.

  • Full of energy and enthusiasm, Zane can hardly contain himself as his mother, Hollie, brushes his hair Sept. 12.

    Hairbrush

    Full of energy and enthusiasm, Zane can hardly contain himself as his mother, Hollie, brushes his hair Sept. 12.

  • Zane, a typical 5-year-old, makes a funny face as brother, Beau, shows him a toy figure.

    goof-off

    Zane, a typical 5-year-old, makes a funny face as brother, Beau, shows him a toy figure.

  • The Flores family makes its way down the street to the bus stop in the Jefferson Terrace neigborhood of Fort Lee.

    Ontheway

    The Flores family makes its way down the street to the bus stop in the Jefferson Terrace neigborhood of Fort Lee.

  • Father-to-son:  Zane gets a final brief from father, Staff Sgt. Jose M. Flores, before his bus arrives.

    Last talk

    Father-to-son: Zane gets a final brief from father, Staff Sgt. Jose M. Flores, before his bus arrives.

  • Hollie Flores chuckles after learning that Zane Daniel is embarrassed in kissed in the company of the other kids at the bus stop. Hollie obliged the wishes of her 5-year-old and limited her affection to a hug.

    Notinpublic

    Hollie Flores chuckles after learning that Zane Daniel is embarrassed in kissed in the company of the other kids at the bus stop. Hollie obliged the wishes of her 5-year-old and limited her affection to a hug.

  • At the first indication that the bus is upon arrival, Zane Daniel Flores moves toward the curb, looking around to see if anyone else will follow.

    Bus stop

    At the first indication that the bus is upon arrival, Zane Daniel Flores moves toward the curb, looking around to see if anyone else will follow.

  • Zane Daniel moves toward the bus with a bit of trepidation as his father encourages him to say "goodbye" to the family.

    Backtoschool

    Zane Daniel moves toward the bus with a bit of trepidation as his father encourages him to say "goodbye" to the family.

  • Zane Flores sits on the bus just before it pulls off to take him to Harrison Elementary School Sept. 12.

    On his way

    Zane Flores sits on the bus just before it pulls off to take him to Harrison Elementary School Sept. 12.

  • Zane's playing partner and younger brother, 3-year-old Beau, wears a long face after seeing his brother board the bus for school.  "I'm not worried much about Zane," said Hollie Flores, Zane's mom.  "I'm worried about Beau. I think he'll bug me all day about Zane."

    brothersgone

    Zane's playing partner and younger brother, 3-year-old Beau, wears a long face after seeing his brother board the bus for school. "I'm not worried much about Zane," said Hollie Flores, Zane's mom. "I'm worried about Beau. I think he'll bug me all day...

FORT LEE, Va. (Sept. 15, 2011) -- Zane Daniel Flores was not unlike any 5-year-old starting school for the first time. His kindergarten class at Harrison Elementary School began Monday, but the anticipation came much earlier.

"He's been talking about this for about four months," said his mother, Hollie Flores.

Zane's eagerness to attend school reached new heights the night prior.

"He was so excited he didn't know what to do," said Mrs. Flores. "I had to make him lie down, then he kept coming out of his room, asking 'Is the sun up? Is it time to go?'"

Zane's dad, Staff Sgt. José Flores, was given time off for the occasion and helped to calm him. He prepared pancakes at first light and allowed Zane and his brother, Beau, to flip them.

The first-day-of-school experience was new to Staff Sgt. Flores as well. He has older children, but military duties have prevented him from being a firsthand witness. Zane's first day permitted him to see what he missed.

"I was excited," he said with a hint of emotion. "It made me feel really nice. It was very memorable."

Zane -- one of 2,000-plus grade-school students in the Fort Lee community -- will hopefully have many more memorable moments over the academic year.

Page last updated Thu September 15th, 2011 at 00:00