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Veteran speaks to Staunton Elementary students

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Student Council at Staunton Elementary spell out Veterans Day during their Tuesday program to honor area veterans for their hard work and dedication. Kimberly Gleason Photo. [Order this photo]
Sgt. 1st Class Ron Horrall was given an offer he couldn't refuse.

His daughters and the Staunton Elementary student council asked him to explain the importance of Veteran's Day to their school Tueday.

Horrall is the father of fifth-grader Gabby and first-grader Isabella.

He was deployed to Iraq for 14 months from January 2006 to March 2007 and he talked to the students about his experience in the United States Army.

"On Nov. 15, I will have been in the Army for 20 years," he told the crowd. "I am proud of the service that I have done."

Students sat and listened patiently as Horrall explained what his job and responsibilities were while being deployed.

"I was a platoon sergeant, I went around to different platoons and made sure that all the soldiers were OK, and they had everything they needed," Horrall said to the guests.

He also went on to talk to students about how important it is to the soldiers when they have mail call and to receive items from students.

"When I was overseas, I received a gift from my daughter Isabella's then kindergarten class," Horrall said to the students.

"I want to thank all of you for sending me the flag with your signatures. I hung it up and kept it with me, as soon as I came back home I had it framed."

He told the students about history of Veterans Day and how it used to be known as Armistice Day.

He was honest with the crowd when talking about the sacrifices that are made for freedom.

"There are brave patriots who placed freedom above their own lives, they served on the front lines and the home fronts," Horrall said.

"They deserve our thanks and we must never forget about what they have done."

In closing, Horrall thanked the students for having him, and student council for the hard work it did to set up the program.

He still had one special message for the crowd.

"I want to thank everyone for supporting the soldiers," Horrall said.

"It is important to support the troops, no matter what branch of military they are.

"All of them are fighting for freedom."

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