Freddie Falcon flies in to on-post school to teach life lessons
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Freddie Falcon dances with Fort Stewart Diamond Elementary School students Nov. 9 as part of the military child appreciation program. The NFL mascot delivered a message of resilience to the students via the Atlanta team’s motto, Rise Up, during the program. (Photo Credit: Kevin Larson) VIEW ORIGINAL
Freddie Falcon flies in to on-post school to teach life lessons
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Freddie Falcon, the Atlanta football team’s mascot delivers a message of resilience to Diamond Elementary School students via the team’s motto, Rise Up, during a military child appreciation program on Fort Stewart Nov. 9. (Photo Credit: Kevin Larson) VIEW ORIGINAL

The mascot game was strong on Fort Stewart Nov. 9 when Freddie Falcon flew down from Atlanta to visit with fourth and fifth graders at the Diamond Elementary School, a Department of Defense Education Activity school on post.

The National Football League mascot delivered messages of resilience to the students by way of the Falcon’s motto “Rise Up.” Giving military children that message is important, especially during Military Appreciation Week.

“The Atlanta Falcons love the military,” said Jeff Childers, Falcons community relations and mascot program. “We came down to Fort Stewart to celebrate with the kids. What we do is celebrate who we are what we do, and why we do it. We teach the kids Rise Up—what it means to be a Dirty Bird and the cheers and the core values behind it and have a little fun doing it.”

The excitement in Diamond Elementary’s cafeteria was high when Freddie Falcon made his entrance. The gathered fourth and fifth graders kept the energy high, cheering and laughing throughout the program, watching Freddie interact with Childers and share messages from players, cheerleaders, and other Atlanta Falcon’s supporters.

That energy level is what stood out the most for principal Talisha Thompson.

“It’s a positive message, Thompson said. “The kids, they work hard every day, so just the excitement and the energy, having fun and letting loose.”

Letting loose while learning life lessons is valuable for her students, Thompson said. She was thankful to the Falcons and Fort Stewart for making the school program possible and acknowledging the realities of being a military child.

“They’re taking time out of their busy schedule to celebrate our students and also spread a positive message that can uplift our kiddos,” she said. “Our students work hard every day, they make sacrifices as part of the military community, so it’s really good to acknowledge that.”

Delivering life lessons and acknowledging life’s challenges through the light-hearted shenanigans of Freddie Falcon and the videos played is what it’s all about, Childers said. The means of delivery is well-received by children.

“We all want a smile we all want a laugh, and that’s going to happen,” he said. “We also want them to know the core values behind why we say the things we say. We rise up because we have bad days and if you have a day you don’t give up you strive to do your very best so you can rise up.”

Diamond Elementary School is one of three DoDEA elementary schools on Fort Stewart servicing the grade-school age children living on post.