Let's face it . . . I'm only a fifth grader and could not have done this without help. Kids 4 Vets is a team effort. Please read below about the family, friends, teachers and veterans who have volunteered their time to make this project a success.
My name is Libby and I am in 6th grade. My favorite activities include tennis, ballet and riding my bike. As you probably know, I have never been in the military and I am not an expert on veterans. But I do know that veterans and their families have made many sacrifices to protect freedoms we enjoy every day. For example, I get to go to school and to get an education. When I'm 16 I will be able to drive. I can speak my mind and can even develop my own website (like this). When I am 18, I will have the right to vote, and I can go to whatever church I want. All because our active military and veterans choose to serve our country and protect those freedoms and many more.
My dad's dad, served as a naval officer in Vietnam. My aunt was born while he was in Vietnam and he didn't even get to meet her until she was 9 weeks old! Please click here to learn more about my amazing "bompa", and his service in the United States Navy.
Meet my dad. My dad is a lawyer. His dad, my grandpa, served as a naval officer during Vietnam. He enjoys learning about the Civil War and World War II and is very grateful for the sacrifices our veterans and their families have made for our country.
Meet my mom. My mom is a lawyer and represents justice-involved veterans. She was actively involved in developing the Veteran's Treatment Court in Johnson County, Kansas and is working to ensure its continued success. She is President of the Johnson County Veteran's Treatment Court Foundation and continues to advocate for the expansion of treatment courts throughout the state. Her dad, my grandpa, served as a pilot in the Army Reserves, retiring as a Colonel. She appreciates all that our military members and their families have given for the freedoms we enjoy every day.
Colonel Hess received his commission as a Regular Army 2nd lieutenant in the infantry branch. He completed his officer training at Ft Benning, GA where he also graduated from the Army Ranger School and Airborne School. He then embarked on a 20 year career that took him around the globe. He spent three combat tours in Vietnam commanding infantry companies twice and a tour as a special operations team leader. His awards include the Silver Star, 6 Bronze Stars with 2 for valor, 2 Purple hearts, 2 Air Medals and an Army Commendation Medal for valor. He is a master parachutist and holder of the Combat Infantry Badge. He holds graduate degrees in counseling and organizational psychology.
Mike Hess is one of the founders of RezVets which is a veteran’s care ministry at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. The primary mission of RezVets is to save veteran’s lives and assist veterans and their families in achieving a new norm or balance in their lives. It is open to all members of the community.
Prairie Elementary was honored to have Colonel Hess speak at the 2016 Veterans Day Assembly. It was such a privilege to hear him share his stories about the sacrifice of fellow service members, as well as his service to this country and veterans in need.
My mom's dad, served as an officer and a pilot in the Army reserve and retired as a Colonel. He flew both fixed wing (airpanes) and rotary wing (helicopters) aircraft and once landed a Huey (that's a type of helicopter) on the field at my grandma's school.
Meet my brother. He is in 3rd Grade at Prairie this year, and he likes to play baseball and soccer. He is excited to help with his fourth Heart of America Stand Down collection, and will work hard to help his class earn a hot chocolate and donut party! Also, be sure to ask him about his vast knowledge of the Chinook Helicopter...prepare to be amazed!