Hyatts Middle School devoted most of its Friday to thank veterans and active military for their service to the country.
Veterans were welcomed with arch-shap of balloons in patriotic colors of red, white and blue. About 125 veterans were expected to visit the Olentangy Local School District middle school, with 98 of them paired with an eighth grader to have breakfast with in the school’s cafeteria and to speak in their individual classrooms.
“It’s probably one of the best programs in Ohio,” said Charlie “PJ” Coulter, a Vietnam veteran who was having breakfast with eighth grader Lucas Wise.
Coulter served three tours in Vietnam, and was active in the military from 1962 to 1972.
The school had recognized November as Military Appreciation Month with the Friday as Living History Day. The event is the third year for Hyatts students and the second year to partner with Operation Buckeye, according Nancy Poliseno, event coordinator.
“It takes a village to raise Americanism.”
Students raised $3,000 and compiled 350 boxes for Operation Buckeye to ship to troops that are stationed overseas, Poliseno said.
Students also crafted flip books with different quotes and wrote poems that were read out to veterans on Friday. The itinerary included veteran speakers during the breakfast portion, a ceremony in the gymnasium and students checking out vehicles and equipment from the Ohio National Guard.
“It’s a great way to support veterans,” said eighth grader Ethan Hicks.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.