A few weeks ago we had our annual Veterans Day Assembly at The School. Every year we do a very impressive assembly honoring our Veterans, many of whom are parents, teachers, and support staff at The School. We live in a military community so Veterans Day is a very big deal.
We have the band play a patriotic medley, the JROTC color guard comes over from the high school to present the colors, we have a guest speaker from the community, and we have soldiers from the local military installation come as well. It's moving, it's patriotic, the kids get into it, and usually the guidance department is overwhelmed with kids who get teary eyed about the whole thing. Those of us on the committee that puts it together stress out a bit but usually every thing goes as planned,
Every year we ask the soldiers if they would recite The Soldier's Creed to open up the assembly. Every year they agree. Sometimes they do it as a group, but lately they have given the honor to the lowest ranking guy there. This kid, because that's what he is, has to stand up in front of 1,000 kids and recite The Soldiers Creed, and unfortunately, it can be a bit nerve-wracking. We always ask if they need a copy of the words, because we have one handy, and every year they decline.
This year Corporal Creed stood up, began the Creed, and halfway through, he freezes. His mind goes blank. He pauses. He pauses some more. There is silent, dead space throughout the gym. You could hear a pin drop as he struggles for the words.
"Oh s$&?," he finally says. Into the microphone.
The kids go wild. They cheer! They applaud! And Cpl. Creed remembers the words and finishes the Creed and sits down.
I look over at The Principal and she is trying very hard not to smile, so that was a good thing. After that, the rest of the Assembly went off without a hitch, until of course the emcee introduces all our guests, including Cpl. Creed.
Guess who got the largest round of applause?
After the assembly Mrs. Eagle and I were shaking hands with our visitors and thanking them for coming. When we got to Cpl. Creed, I mentioned that he was the most popular kid in middle school. He looked embarrassed, but agreed.
Interestingly enough, that bit of levity may have done some good. Guidance reported no crying kids for the first time ever.
The story doesn't end there.
The following week, The Principal was getting ready to do our afternoon announcements and said she had a special announcement. Onto the loud speaker comes Cpl. Creed! He aplogized for what he had said at the ceremony and said he wanted to do it correctly this time. And he did. And better yet, the kids, in each and every room, gave him a huge round of applause. I wish they could have seen him as I heard that he, and the rest of the soldiers that were there with him, came in their dress uniforms and were quite a impressive.
And if that wasn't enough, he, and the rest of the guys were back that Friday evening for the Fall Festival where they set up a display and were giving the kids samples of MRE's.