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Students help at salute to vets

Clarkston Junior High students Caleb Phillips, left, and Jacob Crevier talk to World War II veteran George Thompson about his experiences fighting Japanese forces in the Philippines, at Independence Township's Veterans Luncheon, Nov. 10. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
November 16, 2011 - Clarkston Junior High School students helped out at this year's Veterans Luncheon, Nov. 10, at American Legion Post 63.

"They'll get them anything they need, and sit and talk to the veterans," said Christine Rogers, Academic Service Learning district liaison. "How many opportunities do they get to meet World War II veterans?"

The fourth-hour Advanced International Baccalaureate class, 28 students, helped out at the luncheon.

"They're cool they gave up part of their lives to fight for our country," said student Josephine Auchterlonie.

"They overcame a lot in wars, it's pretty inspiring," said classmate Kaitlyn Gilbert.

Second hour class ran a food drive for Operation Home Front, an organzation helping families of troops on deployment.

"We've gotten amazing support from the community," Rogers said. "It's an incredible organization the kids really responded."

The donations filled a truck, said Staff Sgt. Alan Winston, who worked with the students along with Sgt. Tito Rivera.

"The Reservists and National Guard soldiers live in the community with them we're not just on bases far away," Winston said. "Deployment is a hardship for many families. It's comforting to warfighters to know their families are taken care of for the holidays."

Hosted by Independence Township Senior Adult Activity Center, the luncheon included a 21-gun salute courtesy of American Legion Post 377 and a flag presentation by sponsor Coats Funeral Home.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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