CUSHING, TX (KTRE) - On Veteran Day, the small community of Cushing celebrates in a very big way. Cushing Elementary hosted an event that blended generations.
Cushing students understood that the Veteran Day assembly is more than a reason to get out of class.
"This is Calvin Fitzgerald and he has served our country for many years," said McKenzie Fitzgerald, a Cushing ISD student.
And the veterans understood the tribute is worthy of taking them away from a normal day's activity.
"I'm old and wore out, but I think it's been a lot to us," said Billy Gresham a Korean War veteran.
For a while, the Cushing honor reminded veterans of their younger days when smiles charmed young women and the seriousness of combat concerned those left at home.
Ninety-four-year-old Herbert Nichols, a WWII veteran, remembers.
"I got caught in the Battle of the Bulge and had to retreat all the way across Belgium," Nichols said.
The significance of the war stories may not fully cross generational lines, but Cushing schools are confident the children and the community are understanding the honor even if it requires a bit of prompting.
"I have a proud family history of military service," said Emma Johnson, a Cushing student who was with a veteran who prompted her about what to say.
Children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and young friends escorted the veteran they know for the personal recognition.
It's a touch that makes former Marine and former Army drill instructor Karen Langford feel at home.
"It's almost like family, a family get together because all of the services are represented in my family from Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force," Langford said.
The Cushing Veterans Day ceremony grows each year. The gym is filled for the community wide event.
Veterans travel from all over, especially if they personally know a Cushing student who will wave the red, white, and blue in their honor.
Veterans received a thank you letter written by a Cushing elementary student. Event photographs will also be shared.