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Rancho Viejo Middle School thanks veterans for their service


Last updated 12/13/2017 at Noon

Local veterans listen as students from Rancho Viejo Middle School read their letters of thanks aloud, honoring the veteran for their service. Courtesy photo

Hemet – Over the summer, Principal Jonathan Workman of Rancho Viejo Middle School and Associated Student Body Director Stacy Ciampa discussed creating an event to honor those that have served the country. The idea snowballed into an event that has impacted the entire campus.

linklink Staff invited local veterans to Rancho Viejo for a barbecue to honor them and the sacrifices they have made. Staff reached out to the local American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Elks Lodge, and they also asked students to invite the veterans in their families to the barbecue. Staff bought and cooked hot dogs and hamburgers; they also provided drinks, desserts and all of the fixings. ASB students helped decorate the multi-purpose room, served the veterans food and picked up after the event. In addition, veterans were treated to a surprise, provided by the students at Rancho Viejo.

Leading up to the veterans’ event, students were asked to write a letter to a veteran, thanking them for their freedom and the sacrifice they made and telling them what they plan to do with their freedom. Thirty-five students were asked to read their letter aloud at the event. Ciampa said she saw some of the veterans’ eyes begin to water as the students read their thank-you letters.

After the barbecue, Bill Harrison, a Navy veteran, visited to the “Yes I Can” class and the “Peer Leaders Uniting Students” class to speak about his experience while serving. He described how his ship sank, and he was stranded at sea for six days. Staff said that students listened quietly and attentively throughout his entire speech and that they could tell what an impact his words made on the students.

link As the event came to a close, Matthew Casey, president of Hemet’s American Legion said, “Today was a day to thank us for our service. But today, we are leaving thankful for having such generous and thoughtful students who have taken the time to honor us.”


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