In an effort to honor Veterans’ Day, the office of Senator Joe Robach has partnered with Time Warner Cable, HISTORY® and Greece Athena Middle School to host ‘Take A Veteran To School Day’. This is a nationwide cable initiative that links veterans of all ages with young people in our schools and communities.On November 9, approximately 600 Athena Middle School students will assemble to listen to the experience of four local veterans. The panel of veterans will discuss their service during wartime and what it is like to be in the armed forces. There will be veterans representing different branches of the service as well as different times in history. The veterans who will participate in this event include: John Foy who served in the US Army in the 87th Infantry Division during WWII; John Cipolla who also served in WWII as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne; Jim Wagner who served in the US Army in Vietnam and Cambodia; and Jeremiah Gerstner, a former US Marine, who completed several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Senator Robach will serve as the moderator for the event.
“Our partnership with Senator Robach and HISTORY® has provided Time Warner Cable with the opportunity to show our support of our local veterans as well as our troops currently overseas,” said Scott Knaub, Area VP of Operations at Time Warner Cable – WNY. “Take a Veteran to School Day is a special day which will enable us the opportunity to educate youth in our community about the importance of recognizing and honoring all of our veterans and troops for their bravery, honor and service to our country,” he added.
David Richardson, principal of Athena Middle School, said “This is a golden opportunity for our students to hear firsthand about the hardships and tragedies of war. Our guests, who will be functioning as primary sources of information to students, will make some of our country’s key events in history come alive. I am deeply proud to host this event and to be able to provide this experience to the 7th and 8th graders of Athena Middle School.”
Bill Baird, a history teacher at Greece Athena who helped organize this event, said “As a history teacher, I love having veterans come in and talk to students. The students are always interested in what the veterans share and they learn a lot about what it is like to be in a war. More importantly, ‘Take A Vet To School Day’ gives students a better perspective and deeper understanding for the reason they receive Veterans’ Day off from school.”
Senator Joe Robach stated “It is because of our veterans that Americans have the privilege to choose their career, pursue an education and enjoy the many basic freedoms that so many take for granted every day. There is no more important way to learn about our history than by hearing the firsthand accounts of the brave individuals who serve. I applaud the veterans who are participating in this event today and am confident that their stories will impact these students in a very positive way.”
A WWII veteran, Jack Foy, participating in this event said “This is a special day to remember and honor the veterans who have served our nation from the earliest days of the American Revolution to the heroic young soldiers serving in Afghanistan today. It is a day to remember the thousands of men, and women too, in Veteran’s hospitals across our nation crippled in mind and body by the horrors of war.
Luke Green, an 8th grader wrote “I am excited about veterans coming to Athena because we finally get to thank the people that risked their lives for ours. They protected our country to keep peace in our nation and we owe them and the current soldiers a thank you.”
Ahmad Collier, an 8th grader wrote “I am excited about veterans coming to Athena because these people did us all a great favor in serving our country. Some of my relatives are veterans also. Hopefully everyone gives them a respectful thank you. These people have risked their lives for justice and peace all across this country and other countries. These people are heroes in our time. Without them our country would not be free. So I believe we should keep our veterans in our memories and it is a great honor for us to see some right before Veterans Day.”
At the completion of the event, each student will receive a shirt from HISTORY® and participating veterans will be presented with a stainless steel American Flag courtesy of the office of Joe Robach. For more information or to find out how to participate next year, please contact the office of Joe Robach.