News: Honoring past by those present and those to come
Story by Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns
SAN DIEGO – Children attending the Literacy First Charter School invited more than 30 Marines from Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., to attend a flag planting ceremony, Nov. 9.
“The kids [were] very excited,” said Chris Castberg, a U.S. History teacher with the charter school. “Some of them have military [service members] in their families and others just know what a huge honor it is to honor who serve for us.”
Marines and students planted flags in memory of veterans who have fought for America’s freedom throughout the years.
“Each individual flag represents a student, and their appreciation for those who have served and are serving,” said Mr. Jerry Keough, the principal with the charter school. “The flags are aligned to represent the service members and how they march in formation – in an ordered and steadfast manner.”
Before the ceremony, children had time to sit down and question Marines about their service in the Marine Corps.
“We explain our experiences to the kids and a little bit of our day-to-day operations as far as our jobs go,” said Cpl. Alexander Geving, a bulk fuel specialist with H&HS and a Cambridge, Minn., native. “It’s important to answer these questions because these kids [could be] our future Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen. If we give them the information they want to know now, they can make educated decisions about their futures.”
Not only did these Marines sit down and discuss topics about the Marine Corps, they also answered questions on a personal level, hoping to better the children as citizens of the United States and as well rounded individuals.
“I want these kids to take away the respect I have for myself, my peers and my country,” said Geving. “These kids are engaged, they’re asking us questions and [we] are very excited to be here to answer those questions. It makes this beneficial for both sides.”
While the students gain the benefit of the Marines’ knowledge and experiences, and the Marines get a chance to better educate future members of society, one thought still remains—an understanding.
“We understand that it’s a lot more than just a uniform,” explained Castberg. “It’s a lifestyle that takes such dedication and we greatly appreciate what [the military does] for us.”