A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Crawford Middle School serves up pancakes, words of thanks for local veterans


By Tammy L. Lane
Special to KyForward

With a simple handshake and plates of pancakes, Crawford Middle School’s staff and students thanked those who have served in the U.S. armed forces.

“They’ve sacrificed so much for us – we can give a little bit back and show our appreciation in a small way,” said teacher Evin Shockey, who greeted guests at the library door.

Eighth-grader Jaylen Mitchell invited three Army veterans close to his heart: his father, grandfather, and a great uncle. “They play a big role in my life, and I look up to them for dedicating their lives to helping our country,” he explained.

Eighth-grader Jaylen Mitchell invited three Army veterans close to his heart: his father, grandfather, and a great uncle (Photo Provided)

Eighth-grader Jaylen Mitchell invited three Army veterans close to his heart: his father, grandfather, and a great uncle (Photo Provided)

Families like Jaylen’s gathered Thursday for the annual breakfast before Crawford’s Veterans Day program. Students had volunteered to decorate the tables and help set up the food, and the social studies department led the day’s efforts to salute local veterans with Crawford ties.

Staffers served up piping hot pancakes to go with casseroles provided by members of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and honorees listened to patriotic music as a tribute slideshow rolled.

Bill Holleran, who served in the Army during the Vietnam era, attended along with grandsons Jack and Paul. “Some kids probably don’t even realize they have veterans in their family, and this (event) brings it all to the fore,” he said. “It’s great and allows the children to understand more about veterans.”

Later, the schoolwide assembly was punctuated by both solemn and uplifting moments. For instance, JROTC students from Bryan Station High School presented the colors, the 100th Army Band played “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and teacher Sara Green read a roll call of veterans from the Crawford staff and their relatives. The school’s band, orchestra, and choir also performed, and the 100th Army Band closed with “Taps.”

The keynote speaker, Army veteran Addie Maddox, shared what military service has meant to her. She recalled how, as a senior in high school, she first felt the call during a school assembly much like Crawford’s. Since her family had no money for college, Maddox knew the military was a good option.

“I turned 18, got my braces off, and signed up,” she said.

A career in the service meant first sticking it out through basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina and later deploying to Germany, Honduras, Japan, and across the United States. Maddox was also in the Army Reserves for several years and recalled her pride in wearing the uniform after 9/11, when “every American showed their true colors.”

Standing in front of the attentive Crawford crowd, she noted, “I still feel very proud to put on the uniform.”

Tammy L. Lane is website editor for Fayette Public Schools


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