RANDOLPH, NJ- On Nov.12, in honor of Veterans Day, Center Grove elementary school had a few guests of honor for their fifth grade school wide meeting. Parents, grandparents and even great grandparents were the visiting veterans.
The meeting commenced with the fifth graders singing “Proud to be an American.” Mario Rodas, Center Groves Principal, asked all of the children to make an effort to text, email, or call any veteran they know. Rodas explained that he has two brothers who served in the Army, and this day is very close to his heart.
Each of the children with family members in attendance as guests of honor proudly introduced them by reading their bios as they were invited up on stage. The veterans included:
Captain Mark Levey, United States Air Force, Madison, Wisconsin
Captain Tara Plansky, United States Air Force (Wright Patterson, then Frankfurt, Germany)
Sergeant John VanOostendorp, US Army (Panama),
Carmen Tarantino, US Navy, (On the aircraft carrier, USS Bonhomee Richard),
Corporal Stan Goldberg, US Army (Frankfurt, Germany),
Justin Gear, US Coast Guard (currently stationed in Hawaii)
The school meeting ended with a poem recitation thanking the veterans for their service, which was displayed for the whole school to view. After the reading, the fifth graders were given an opportunity to ask questions. The most popular area of interest according to Rodas was all of the places the veterans have been.