HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — The William Davies Middle School held its annual Veterans Day event Wednesday, Nov. 8. The day began with a flag-raising ceremony followed by a breakfast honoring veterans and current enlisted service people.
A highlight of the event was a visit from the Veterans United Military Memorial Museum of Tuckerton, a mobile museum of military memorabilia.
Students had the opportunity to browse a collection of memorabilia ranging from World War I through the Vietnam War. The display included patches, uniforms, weapons, radios, medical gear and culturally related items.
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Eighth-graders also had the opportunity to meet the honorees in the school media center and ask them questions.
“You have the opportunity to learn about different experiences from members of all of the armed services,” U.S. Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer John Edwards said.
“Don’t you jump out of helicopters?” Hogan Horsey asked.
“The Coast Guard has 11 missions including search and rescue,” Edwards said. “We patrol 100,000 miles of coastline and 6.2 million square miles of oceans with 42,000 active members.”
“They are also involved in promoting boating safety,” said former Navy Spc. John Percy of Hamilton Township, who is also a former Hamilton Township committeeman and mayor.
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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Katherine Spessa spoke about her tours of duty that included time in Italy (quite nice) and Afghanistan (not so much so).
The service members also discussed the opportunities they have had, including educational benefits under the G.I. Bill.
Other honored guests included U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. George Adair, Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Rick Brahm, Army Spc. Phil Cinquina, Army Reserve Spc. Marissa Scribner and Army Spc. Tom Judge, who is the commander of VFW Post 220 in Mays Landing.
The event was organized by Davies Middle School social studies coordinator Ericka Pitman.