COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Students at North Middle School and Soldiers of the 299th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, saluted a raising American flag on the early morning of Nov. 10, 2015.
The flagpole ceremony was part of an annual Veterans Day observance at the school to honor all past and current military members.
"We understand how important our veterans and our military are in this community," said Derien Latimer, assistant principal, North Middle School. "Our job in many ways is to get students to look outside themselves and understand that they are part of a bigger community."
After the ceremony and playing of the national anthem by the school band, Command Sgt. Maj. Devon Evans, 299th BEB, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div., gave a brief history lesson of Veterans Day to the students.
"It means a lot to come out here today to see the students, talk to them and for them to see us," said Evans. "Even though we have a mission, we're able to reach out to the students and they reach out to us. This is the reason why we actually do what we do - wear the uniform."
Pvt. Kaylon Stewart Smith, bridge crew member, Bravo Company, 299th BEB, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div., said that engaging with the students at North Middle School reminded him that being part of the military means being part of the bigger picture.
"When you join it's a bigger thing than yourself because everything you do eventually works for something else in the long run and helps other people around you," said Stewart Smith, a native of Chicago, Illinois. "It makes you feel like you're a better person at the end of the day."
Evans said he plans to foster the bond between the school and battalion as it presents a valuable learning experience for both students and Soldiers.
"We want to continue the relationship with North Middle School and we expect to be back soon," said Evans, a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia. "I think this is a good relationship that we're building and today started the foundation."