Sweet Water High School honors Veterans

Published 1:45 pm Friday, November 17, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

On Nov. 9, Sweet Water High School held a Veterans Day program titled “Operation Gratitude: A Salute to Veterans.” 

Operation Gratitude sends thousands of care packages each year to deployed troops, veterans, recruit graduates, first responders, and wounded heroes and their caregivers. Of all the items included in these care packages, the most cherished are hand-written letters of appreciation.

SWHS teacher Sarah Meeks (left in red dress) sang “God Bless the USA” during Sweet Water’s Operation Gratitude Veterans Day program. Photo by Andrea Burroughs.

The goal of the project is to include several letters and colorful drawings in every single care package. In these unprecedented times, heroes need unwavering support and need to know that people care. Heartfelt thoughts and letters can be what motivates them to keep moving forward in their duties to their nation.

Email newsletter signup

The Letters of Gratitude were presented by elementary and high school students to express their love and appreciation for veterans.Students who presented letters were elementary students Aubrey McGilberry, Princeton Woods, and Harmoni Norwood, and high school students Collins Mack, Ryleigh Miller, and Xavier Young.

“In all of the conflicts our soldiers have served in over the years, they have not always received our gratitude,” said SWHS teacher Kory Boyett. “Of all the items included in these care packages, the most precious to our soldiers and veterans are the hand-written letters of appreciation.”

The program, while brief, was filled with appreciation for the veterans who had given so much for their country. One of the main parts of the program was the Recognition of Enlistment that was presented by Staff Sergeant DeHendrick Easley. Easley presented an Award for Patriotism to SWHS senior Kelvin Gamble that recognized his successful completion of United States Army Basic Training.

Kelvin Gamble was presented with an Award for Patriotism from the Alabama Army National Guard. The award was for his successful completion of United States Army Basic Training. Pictured are Gamble (left) and Staff Sergeant DeHendrick Easley. Photo by Andrea Burroughs.

Kory said that Sweet Water students wrote and colored pictures for over 500 veterans and service members.

“With the climate of our country and the threats that are overseas right now, those will go to active members, veterans, and first responders,” said Boyett. “We are very proud to support such a mission.”