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Fairland Middle keeps on breakfast tradition

Rome Township — This time last year it was a different scenario for Ed Wine.

Then the career Air Force master sergeant was seeing up close and personal what the rest of us watch on the television news shows nightly: the conflict in Afghanistan.

But on this Veterans Day, Wine was enjoying the camaraderie of his fellow soldiers at the annual breakfast the National Honor Society of Fairland Middle School has given for the past 17 years.

“This is great. The community is showing support, especially with the young kids,” Wine said as he waited with his son, Staff Sergeant Justin Wine with the 130th Air Force in Charleston, W.Va., for the pre-breakfast program to begin.

“These kids need to be educated for what the men and women have done for them,” he said.

In January Wine will retire from the military with 27 years of service. Wine is the second generation of a military family; his father, Ronald Wine of Parkersburg, served in the Army during the Korean Conflict.

It’s that kind of appreciation for the breakfast that makes all the work for the event worthwhile, Fairland Middle School principal Mike Whitley says.

“We get so much gratitude from the veterans who come to this,” Whitley said. “And it is an opportunity for the kids who are serving. It’s more of a connection with veterans and what they have done.”

The short program began with a welcome from Whitley, followed by a prayer given by Fairland Middle teacher Dave Saunders and the pledge of the allegiance led by Luke Phillips, president of the honor society.

Then the varsity chorus of Fairland High serenaded the guests during the meal.

“This is to honor the veterans,” Phillips, an eighth grader, said. “They are over there in wars. They took their time over in a war. We can take our time to serve them breakfast.”

Honor society members served up coffee to the guests as they waited in line for the breakfast of sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, biscuits and hash browns.

“They have done a lot for us. We need to respect them,” Kaleigh VanHorn, also in the honor society, said as she waited tables. “We are paying respect for what they did for us.”