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Chesapeake students honor veterans

CHESAPEAKE — Students at Chesapeake Elementary honored military members in the school’s annual veterans program on Thursday.

In preparation, students took home stars and decorated them to display for friends and family members who are veterans. More than 240 were displayed in the school’s “Wall of Honor.”

A program, “Honoring Our Veterans,” was directed by Bethany Himes, the school’s music teacher, and put on by the fourth grade students at the school. A slide show was shown, while students sang “American Tears.”

The appreciation of the military was especially strong this year. Jaiden Reaper, a kindergarten student at the school, was showing support for his father, Justin Reaper, who was deployed with the United States Army on Nov. 1 for one year in Korea. Jaiden’s fellow students in Tracey McCarthy’s class have been writing letters to his father, and will continue to do so while he is deployed.

Carter Collins, of the fourth grade, sang “The Star Spangled Banner” during the presentation.

Trisha Harris, the school’s principal said his mother told her, “He put his heart and soul into it, and brought us all to tears. To make it even better, his pawpaw, Don Wilkes, a veteran, was standing behind him as he sang his little heart out.”

Following the program, all veterans were asked to come forward, where they were presented with a poppy flower and card reading, “I wear a little poppy, as red as red can be, to show that I remember those who fought for me.”