Iraq War Soldiers Visit Warren East for Veteran's Day Assembly

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

As Veteran's Day nears, students at Warren East Middle School spent the day learning about patriotism and education in an unusual way.

They spent the day without desks, and gained a valuable lesson from a group of soldiers that know firsthand the importance of the upcoming holiday.

It was a day students won't soon forget.

After spending most of their day in classrooms without desks, the students were sent to the gym.

"I didn't know what to think. I thought maybe they were going to give our desks back because in history class we didn't have them," 8th Grader Kanesha Allen said.

They got their desks back and a whole lot more.

Soldiers from the Kentucky National Guard were standing behind 30 desks.

They told students that over in Iraq, they're fighting for each child's right to an education.

Each desk represented a student.

"I was glad for them to sacrifice their life for us so we can go to school and learn and everything. I'm proud of them," Allen said.

Then the soldiers invited several students to sit in these desks.

"I was surprised that one of the soldiers called my name out and said he earned that chair for me to learn and I was thankful for that," 8th Grader Vin-Hay Keo added.

Iraqi veteran Staff Sgt. Todd Partain got the chance to call down his own son, Tad.

"It was great to call him down and tell him I earned this desk for him. He was the biggest reason why I went. I went so he won't have to," Staff Sgt. Partain said.

While Partain fought for Tad's privilege to an education, he explained the right to learn isn't even an option for students in Iraq.

"There's places in the country where you're not allowed to go to school and if you do go, it's at a high price," he said.

So instead of just being a place for a student to sit, their desks will now be patriotic symbols for the students.

Teacher Jenny Morehead got the idea for the program from a teacher in Arkansas who did the same thing.

However, this isn't Warren East's first experience with the troops.

The 8th Grade class sent DVDs to wounded soldiers last school year.


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