Veterans honored by students
During the month of November students at North Canton Elementary have been learning about Patriotism and Veterans’ Day. Many students returned stars to place on the school’s “Wall of Heroes” that honored family members in the military – both past and present. One special military member was honored as the school’s special guest at the Veterans’ Day program on November 8. CPT Kyle Eldridge, son of Second Grade Teacher Terre Eldridge, spent the day with students sharing his equipment and stories about military life. He explained what it was like in the desert when temperatures reached 130 degrees and about eating MRE’s out of a pouch! The second graders laughed when he related a time when he didn’t take a shower for about 3 weeks! The students also learned about military vehicles, where soldiers live and what they wear. Each student was given the opportunity to try on CPT. Eldridge’s helmet and vest.
CPT Eldridge has served in the Army for the past 9 years as a Field Artillery Officer. During that time he has corresponded as a pen pal for several classes, received CARE packages for faculty and staff and even took Flat Stanley on a tour of Tal Afar, Iraq. He has served in Iraq in support of Iraqi Freedom, in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and in May, 2010 he assumed command of Alpha Battery 5-82 Field Artillery when his unit was sent to Mosul, Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn. For his service CPT Eldridge has been awarded the Bronze Star with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and 3 campaign medals.
CPT. Eldridge concluded his visit with students by giving them this advice – every subject at school is important. He said he uses math, science, reading, writing and computers in his job every day. Staying physically fit is also important. Always follow directions and do your very best in everything .
CPT Eldridge was accompanied to the program by his wife Caitlyn and his 3 children-Braden (6), Emmy (2 ½) and Ellie (9 mos).