BY BRANDY TEMPLETON
Third Creek Middle School paid tribute to U.S. military veterans on Tuesday morning.
Parents and visitors drove by American flags lining the parking lot as students made their way into the school.
After morning announcements were made, a special presentation on the importance of observing Veteran’s Day ensued. All veterans who served in either war or peace time were recognized by Third Creek Middle.
Darwin E. Carter, vice principal, helped organize the presentation, which included a moment of silence, a brief history of the holiday, and two video presentations.
The first video featured a poem and images of soldiers, while in the second, Chelsea Strother, the wife of Third Creek Middle band teacher Kory Strother, sang Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to Be An American.”
Having relatives who served in the Air Force, Army and Navy, Carter knows firsthand the importance of Veterans Day and wanted to make sure students understood the significance of the holiday.
“I wanted to do something where students can know that the military is somewhere they can go in life. It values freedom, including freedom of speech,” Carter said. “It also opens the doors to education.”
Principal Marlene Scott said she is also thankful for veterans, and Third Creek Middle School regularly supports them.
“We donate cans of coffee every month to the W.G. (Bill) Hefner V.A. Medical Center in Salisbury, and help connect veterans to the Iredell Veterans Transitional House in Statesville,” Scott said.
She’s proud to have two veterans working at the school and recognized both while encouraging students to thank them.
“Jesse Braggs and JoAnn Scott both served in our military,” Scott said. “We want to show appreciation for their service.”
Scott and her husband Todd went an extra step by donating a heart- shaped wooden veteran flag to the school.
“It’s a dedication memorial that serves as a constant reminder of our veterans who serve and protect,” she shared.
The heart flag will be permanently displayed in the Bulldog Breezeway at the new school.
Iredell-Statesville Board of Education member Chuck Gallyon enjoys his relationship with Third Creek Middle. A veteran of the Air Force and Air National Guard, he served a total of 33 years, including in operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield.
“I love the military,” he said. “Getting shot at is not very fun, but I was grateful for three hots and a cot.”
Braggs, who teaches eighth grade social studies and science, served in the Army for five years.
“I loved the comradery and the willingness of people to be unified for a cause to defend our nation,” he said.
JoAnn Scott, who teaches sixth grade science, is also thankful for her three years in the military.
“It’s where I met my husband Gordon,” she said.