Students kick off veterans events

PARKERSBURG – McKinley Elementary School fifth-grader Seth Bryan was excited by Thursday’s Veterans Day ceremony.

Bryan – a self-described shorts and T-shirt guy – was wearing a collared shirt that proudly displayed his grandfather’s 1st Cavalry Division pin.

“This is dressed up for me,” he said.

McKinley is one of several schools in the county recognizing Veterans Day with events. Thursday morning students and faculty welcomed a handful of veterans, the Marine Corps League, the Parkersburg High School Big Red Band and the Parkersburg High School’s Naval Junior ROTC.

Bryan and his well-dressed friend Tyler Cooper – wearing a shirt and tie- were volunteer helpers for Thursday’s events.

Bryan said his grandfather, Larry Anderson, was supposed to participate in Thursday’s events at McKinley but was unable to attend due to foot surgery.

Bryan said Anderson is a Vietnam veteran. And the fifth-grader is well-versed in his grandfather’s service. “He went to the Army when he was 19,” he said.

The boy vividly described Anderson’s injuries, pointing to his left arm, left shoulder and side, discussing where his grandfather was shot, grazed and has a piece of shrapnel lodged in his right arm.

“It’s still in there,” he said.

The school held a student assembly outside and then lined the halls to applaud veterans as they re-entered the school. Close to 15 veterans spent about 15 minutes in each classroom meeting with students, recounting their experiences, according to Debbie Boyd, event coordinator.

The school’s events closed with a presentation in the gymnasium around 10 a.m.

Today Emerson Elementary will have a presentation on flag etiquette as well as its annual red, white and blue walk, where students dress in patriotic colors and walk the track. Principal Penny Coleman said students are also collecting Halloween candy to donate to troops.

Lubeck School is having a Veterans Day celebration at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Vietnam veteran and former Green Beret Woody Wilson will speak to eighth-grade students at Jackson Middle School about his time in Vietnam. Wilson is a former social studies teacher for Wood County Schools.

On Nov. 12, Bob Pioli, a 92-year-old WWII veteran and former German POW from Marietta, will speak to Jackson students about his capture and imprisonment.

Williamstown High School is holding a Veterans Day Assembly at 9 a.m. Nov. 12. Breakfast will be served to veterans and their families beginning at 7:30 a.m.