2014-11-20 / News

St. Ignace First Grade Students Visit Evergreen Living Center to Honor Veterans

By Erich T. Doerr


At left: First grade student Dylan Shepard receives a kiss on the hand from 100-year-old veteran Art Calven as recreational therapist Lani Fettig looks on during a Veterans Day visit by first grade students to the Evergreen Living Center Tuesday, November 11. The students thanked all of the facility’s veterans for their service with a poem, a song, and the presentation of a poster. Mr. Calven served in the Pacific Theater with the United States Navy during World War II. At left: First grade student Dylan Shepard receives a kiss on the hand from 100-year-old veteran Art Calven as recreational therapist Lani Fettig looks on during a Veterans Day visit by first grade students to the Evergreen Living Center Tuesday, November 11. The students thanked all of the facility’s veterans for their service with a poem, a song, and the presentation of a poster. Mr. Calven served in the Pacific Theater with the United States Navy during World War II. Generations came together for Veterans Day Tuesday, November 11, as first grade students from St. Ignace Area Schools came to the Evergreen Living Center to visit veterans. The children showed their appreciation to the residents who fought for their freedoms by reciting a poem, singing a song, reading a story, and presenting them with a large poster.

The students of Marci Bishop and Sherrie Gustafson’s first grade classes arrived at the nursing home, each wearing a decorated paper crown bearing their name. Veterans who live there, including Bob Konle, James Tenbusch, Eldon Seaman, Art Calven, Gary Weiss, and Clem Shabor, were placed in the front row of the dining area for the visit. Each veteran was introduced to the students before the presentation, with other residents joining them to listen in.


First grade student Dylan Shepard shakes hands with Korean War veteran James Tenbusch Tuesday, November 11. The students read a poem and sang for the residents before visiting with them one-on-one. Other veterans looking on include (from left) Eldon Seaman, Art Calven, Gary Weiss, and Clem Shabor. Not pictured is veteran Bob Konle. First grade student Dylan Shepard shakes hands with Korean War veteran James Tenbusch Tuesday, November 11. The students read a poem and sang for the residents before visiting with them one-on-one. Other veterans looking on include (from left) Eldon Seaman, Art Calven, Gary Weiss, and Clem Shabor. Not pictured is veteran Bob Konle. The children took four days to learn their poem before reciting it to the veterans. Each verse of the poem was presented by a different group of students. The poem defined who a veteran is and what they mean to Americans. The children then sang a song about the work veterans have done and the freedoms we enjoy because of it. The students had made a large patriotic poster with patches thanking veterans that included the message “Heroes Don’t Always Wear Capes.” The veterans appreciated the moment.


The Evergreen Living Center in St. Ignace marked Veterans Day with a special ceremony for the veteran residents, where first grade students from the St. Ignace Area Schools came to visit them. The veterans were seated in the front row for the ceremony, including (from right) Gary Weiss, Art Calven, Eldon Seaman, James Tenbusch, and Bob Konle. Not pictured is fellow veteran Clem Shabor. The Evergreen Living Center in St. Ignace marked Veterans Day with a special ceremony for the veteran residents, where first grade students from the St. Ignace Area Schools came to visit them. The veterans were seated in the front row for the ceremony, including (from right) Gary Weiss, Art Calven, Eldon Seaman, James Tenbusch, and Bob Konle. Not pictured is fellow veteran Clem Shabor. The students’ visit concluded with each being given a sugar cookie and having a chance to meet the hospital’s pets and those of its patients. Six-year-old Evie Streeter was happy she got a chance to visit Evergreen.

“My cheeks were red because I was a little nervous, but I was smiling,” Evie said. “It felt good putting a smile on their faces.”

James Tenbusch, a Korean War veteran, was among the residents who took part. He was pleased by the children’s visit.

“The children were really smart,” Mr. Tenbusch said. “It feels good to be honored.”

This was the first year the students have visited, as in the past they have sent photographs. The trip could become an annual activity.

“This is great,” student teacher Arielle Kammers said. “Bringing them here makes it hit home more… We’re happy Evergreen had us. We hope to come back.”

Recreational therapist Lani Fettig said the day offered a good chance for the children to learn about veterans. Both groups enjoyed the opportunity to meet .

“The residents really enjoyed having them here,” Mrs. Fettig said. “It’s great to mix the generations.”

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