Students make Christmas ornaments for veterans

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 5:30 a.m.CDT
(Rob Winner –
Third-grade students at Malta Elementary School made ornaments that will be hung from a Christmas tree at the DeKalb County Veterans Assistance Commission office.
(Rob Winner –
Veterans Service Officer Steve Kreitzer thanks third-grade students at Malta Elementary School on Tuesday morning after they made ornaments which will be hung on a Christmas tree at the DeKalb County Veterans Assistance Commission office to honor veterans this holiday season.

DeKALB – Handfuls of Christmas ornaments now grace the tree at the DeKalb County Veterans Assistance Commission office thanks to Malta Elementary School third-graders.

The project came about after commission employee Luz Maria Gilkey asked her son’s teacher to have students make some ornaments for the tree. The teachers were happy to have a reason for a student art project. Each third-grade class has 28 students.

“It’s a nice way to thank veterans,” said teacher Kelly Peterson. She said at a least a couple of third-grade students have family members who are veterans.

Teacher Linda Dunham said the parents of one of her students are Marine Corps veterans.

“They came in and spoke to the kids. They brought in uniforms and let the kids try them on,” Dunham said.

“I feel like we’ve talked a lot about veterans this year,” she said.

Gabby Norman is the student whose parents both served as Marines.

“My parents are both veterans,”Gabby said. “I thought it would be cool to do this for the veterans.”

Zaylin Burton’s mom served in the Navy.

“I liked doing this because my mom’s a veteran,” Zaylin said. “Now she’s a nurse,”

While pointing out messages to veterans on the back of some of the ornaments,Gilkey said she hopes to make the ornament project an annual tradition.

Although they decorate the office this holiday season, commission Superintendent Tammy Anderson said the ornaments will be distributed to veterans next year before the holidays.

Commission employee Steve Kreitzer was happy to shake hands with many of the students.

‘”I feel like we need to recognize the good things kids do,” Kreitzer said.

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