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Mother and Son Combat School Cafeteria For Veterans Day

By Staff | Nov 17, 2009


Tom Holmes from the Army Reserve and a 1990 graduate of Hughesville High School came to visit Ashkar Elementary School for Veterans Day to help his mother, Mary Holmes in the cafeteria where she works. He prepared a slide show of his experience in Iraq for the kids to see while they ate lunch in the cafeteria.

Sergeants Brittany Connelly and Tasha Oldham from Williamsport also joined Holmes at the school. They brought some military vehicles and attire to show the classes how they live in the military. Hummers and a Deuce and A Half that looks like it is half tank and half truck and used for combat, were sitting in the front of the school as each grade came out to look at the vehicles. The two female soldiers demonstrated the various gears and bullet proof construction.

Inside a table was filled with all kinds of equipment and gear that a soldier wears and carries with them. Sgt. Oldham put on each of the items such as pads and holsters over her uniform to show how much a soldier needs to wear in combat.

Natalie Bloom, food service director for the school, announced how pleased she was with the program. “The kids seem really interested and wrote a big thank you card on the wall for them when they leave,” she said as she guided the children through the cafeteria lines and took photos of the guardsmen serving hot dogs and baked beans. At the register, the children were also given a United States flag to color at their seats while watching Sergeant Holmes slide show on Iraq.

The atmosphere was festive decorated in red, white and blue. All staff members work tie dyed tee shirts that they ordered in red, white and blue to help welcome the soldiers. “I had fun doing this and I got to be with my mom,” said a smiling Holmes who spent a year in Iraq.

Master Sergeant Steve Hafer also accompanied Holmes serving food in the cafeteria