Pike County Elementary salutes America’s veterans

Published 11:01 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2013

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United States Army SFC Anthony D. Reaves pulled no punches with the students at Pike County Elementary School Tuesday.

Reaves was the guest speaker at PCES’ “Salute to Veterans” and he told the students, “Your time is right now.”

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“I wish that I could tell you that I made all A’s in school,” Reaves said. “I wish that I could tell you that I respected authority and that I was obedient to my mother. But I can’t tell you that. I was a terrible child. I failed the ninth grade and I didn’t do the right things. I chose the hard way.”

Reaves said that the way he chose could have led to destruction if it had not been for those who “stood in front of me.”

Among those were three who stand out in Reaves’ memory, Dr. Mark Bazzell, Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport and Joanna Kilpatrick.

“Dr. Bazzell was my principal and he always kept a watchful eye on me,” Reaves said. “He made sure I was in school and doing my work. His eye was always on me.

“Chief Davenport would snatch me up by the ear. I might have spent my life in a prison if he had not been there for me.

“Mrs. Kilpatrick, my history teacher, believed in me and she taught me to believe in myself. I am honored and humbled by those who stood in front of me.”

Reaves challenged the students to do what is right when no one is looking and to take advantage of the opportunities before them.

“Education is the way to be successful,” he said. Don’t miss the opportunities to apply yourselves and be the best students you can be. Don’t miss this opportunity for a great and wonderful life.”

The PCES Veterans Day program honored the veterans of all branches of the United States military.

The program included a history of the Armed Forces, a skit, “Greetings from Uncle Sam,” patriotic music, a slide show and a blackout presentation by the fourth grade students.

Anita Grant, PCES principal, congratulated the fourth grade students on an “absolute awesome job.”

“The entire program was outstanding and the blackout presentation was just incredible,” Grant said. “One of the veterans said it was the best ‘salute to veterans’ that he had ever seen. We hope that it meant something special to each one of the veterans.”

Grant expressed appreciation to the veterans in attendance for their service and to all American veterans.

“What our veterans do is not an easy task,” she said. “Our veterans give up many things in service to our country. They miss out on things as simple as going to Walmart or to a ballgame with their children. Whenever you approach veterans, take a minute to thank them for what they do for us and for our country.”

There will be three area Veterans Day programs Monday, at 9 a.m. at the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library in Brundidge and at 11 a.m. at Bicentennial Park in Troy and Elam Cemetery at Elam Baptist Church in Elamville.