Below is an email I got from a friend. Read the entire email, it will open your eyes and hopefully get you fired up. Its our country. We speak english, we drive on the right side of the road and if we want to say the pledge of allegiance, in our schools, its up to us to make it happen. If we don’t teach our kids, someone else will!!!

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Hey Maj Pain!!!
   You probably do not remember me, but we met on the Anysoldier boat ride last year.  I was there with my boyfriend Marc.  It has been awhile since then.  How are you?  As you might guess my boyfriend and I are big fans of yours!!!  The other night we attended a Toby Keith concert.  If you have never heard of him before, he is a country rock singer who is very patriotic.  He dedicated his concert to all of our US Troops!  At the end of the concert all the lights in the arena went out…and all you could hear were the sound of army boots. 

He brought a bunch of soldiers up on stage and sang them two of his greatest songs.  One is called "American Soldier" and the other is called "Angry American".  There were fire works and American flags everywhere…the whole crowd started chanting USA USA USA…I was in tears and it was absolutely moving!  Toby Keith said "No matter if you are Republican or Democrat…these men make this country free and keep us safe…and there is no greater job and these men deserve more than we could ever give back to them!"  It was so nice to hear the support of the crowd with out all of the politics!  Everyone became one and were cheering our troops on!  I thought of you and I just want to say thank you thank you thank you…I could never say it enough times to really let you know how I feel! 

    On another note…I know you are a very busy man…but if you have a second for some advice…I need your help.  I am currently student teaching and something struck me the other day while I was in class.  Three weeks ago I started student teaching in a fifth grade class and I quickly realized that the class did not say the Pledge of Allegiance first thing in the morning.  I know that it can be a touchy subject in some districts (which I find completely ridiculous) so I decided not to say anything and see how my first week there went.  A couple of days later, my cooperating teacher asked the class to please stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance…I was so glad to see that they were going to say it until I heard some of the things coming out of the students mouths…for example "Why do we have to do this"  "What did the flag ever do for me"  "This is so stupid"  "I don’t get why I should have to stand and say this"…I was appalled, I am a very patient person but all I wanted to do at that moment was scream and yell.  So I turned to the teacher afterwards and told her in the nicest way that I could, that the students need a lesson on why it is they say the Pledge…and she said that’s why I don’t make them say the Pledge everyday because all they do is complain.  That made me even more angry so I went to the principal and told him how I felt…he agreed with me and said he gives me permission to give them as many lessons as I want about why we respect the flag and if any of them disrespect the flag again to send them straight to him.  Needless to say…both him and I were upset.  I think the problem is…no one ever taught them the purpose of the flag..and I do not think that they understand why we pledge or even realize the magnitude of what is happening overseas.  This is frustrating to me and upsetting because I do not know how to go about making them understand exactly why we salute the flag or why we say the pledge.  I do not think that they will listen to me or care.  The principal and I spoke for awhile on this topic because he knew how upset I was.  I also discussed it with my boyfriend Marc and both him and I agree that if a soldier came to my class and spoke to them, it may be more effective.  I think that they would respect it coming from a soldier more then from me.  What do you think?  My principal loved the idea also but I do not know who I would ask to come and speak to my class.  When I heard you speak on the Anysoldier boat ride…I would have to say it was the best speech that I have ever heard and I was greatly impacted by it and I will never forget it!  I know you are a busy man and couldn’t come and speak to them (although I truly wish you could) but is there any chance that you know someone who might be willing to come and speak to them in the northern Jersey area?  Or do you know how I could find a soldier to come and speak to them?  Or do you have a better idea for me?  I want a soldier in uniform to impact them the way that you impacted me and still impact me everyday!  Once again thank you for all you have done…you are my hero!  I know your busy so if you do not have time to get back to me…I completely understand!!!  Please do not feel obligated.
Thank you in advance
God bless the USA
Diana

Comments

  1. Does she have access to United Streaming educational videos online? When I did my student teaching last semesters, my cooperating teacher had access, but hadn’t been using it. She found her login info for me, and there is lots of stuff of a patriotic flavor available on that site. I’ll also check and see what I might have gotten from when I wanted to do a lesson about The Pledge. The schools I’ve been in for observation, student teaching, and now substitute teaching, all say The Pledge of Allegiance and The Texas Pledge. Some schools do it in English and Spanish (I guess depending on how many students are not native English speakers), but some, at least, only say it in English. Diana ~ if you read this, feel free to hop on over to my blog and shoot me an email, and I’ll see what I might be able to give you by way of resources to check out.

  2. http://www.homeofheroes.com/hallofheroes/1st_floor/flag/1bfc_pledge.html
    http://www.usflag.org/writings.html
    http://www.flagday.org/Pages/StoryofPledge.html
    these sites have a lot of good Pledge information about the “why” and “what it means”. (also the Am.Sign Lang. version)
    Also why not a class project of requesting a flag flown over the NJ or National Cap. for your classroom? Maybe check with your local Nat. Guard Unit? Bet there is one in town and they might be able to recommend a speaker!

  3. What a nice letter and tribute to you, Maj Pain, as well as to AnySoldier. It’s always encouraging to hear what a positive impact you’ve made on someone else.
    Local organizations like VFWs, Lions Club, Boy Scouts or even churches would have ways to find vets who might be involved with flag projects and ceremonies. If there is a military cemetary nearby, her class would have several opportunities to become involved in activities where flags are used to honor our country’s finest.

  4. Here in CT last year the 5th Grader’s were treated to a BlackHawk that Sikorsky Landed right on their play ground 🙂

  5. I guess this got to Pain like it did me. Our youth IS OUR FUTURE! Thanks for sharing Major.
    Diana,
    We need more like you in education. Thank you for being a Teacher who cares about our values. I see you have been given some good advice by other posters. I am up late working on Wifes school laptop. I think I have it fixed. Burn out rate is high for your field. Not many stay past 5 years. No child left behind has left many Educators and students behind. We are teaching to the test and not teaching our kids. Texas is a good case in point. Liberals have jacked our education and made it nearly unworkable.
    Teachers like you can make a difference in our youth. We must get to them at a young age. I see that you have the support of your husband. That is good.
    I am married to a 26 year Teacher.
    She teaches at EB Comstock in Dallas. Rated the worst school in the DISD. 2 years ago she felt that God wanted he to teach inner city. Leslie has made a difference. I hear stories every day. Trying to keep kids in school is a big deal in the inner city. Comstock is making progress. Kids are trying. It is hard to keep kids in school when they are fighting to survive. It is hard for kids trying to duck bullets to care about the Pledge.
    I hear people say that Teachers are overpaid and only work part of the year. That is wrong. I remember my initiation to Public Schools. I showed up at at a Middle School track meet. I sat with Teachers and kids who did not know me. I was there in support of my wife and her kids. This young man stood up in the stands where I was standing and reached up to me. His name was Rudi. His face was ruined. He had no vision to speak of or facial features that we would recognize. He wanted a hug. Touched my soul. I have been a child advocate ever since.
    Good Teachers are like good soldiers. They care alot but are willing to demand the best of those around them. Both those who teach and those who learn.
    God bless you Diana. You have your work cut out for you.

  6. Diana:
    I would like to speak for all of us veterans, current military, and concerned citizens. It isn’ that we are too busy, but rather, that we need to have people like you to request, even demand, of your school district that they allow us to foster these children in their education on patriotism. They need to learn that patriotism is taught and not infused, injected, or otherwise instilled. I am blessed with living in the deepest of the deep south, where the pledge, and a prayer are the morning fare in our schools. My local country station even starts the 7AM hour with an elementary class doing the pledge, followed by one or the other of the country singers National Anthem.
    As I read above, either we teach them or someone else will. The ACLU and their ilk has no case here, no business here, and if they attempt to stick their nose into the classroom, just slam the door on their nose.
    Try your local NG Armory.
    And Diana! You sure Major Pain is your hero? OMG!!!!!! Thank you for your service to our country ma’am- We are relying on you to prep our youth for the recuiters. Keep it flying.
    nuf sed

  7. Major Pain…Thanks for the great letter from Diana… We need more like her as teachers to teach once again to love, respect, honor and fly with pride our beautiful Stars and Stripes that has flown ever so proudly throughout the world.. It is the symbol of America and stands for the freedom we so greatly enjoy. A thought for Diana… is to buy a flag, ask one of her Marines on AnyMarine.com if their unit would would fly it for her class and certify it was flown just for them.. It would be something special that only they could have and share. Maj. P you did that for many of us and I still have it done for special people..Here in California Wal-Mart has beautiful 3′ x 5′ American flags for $20 with the stiched stars…
    I just recently presented to each of our local Fire and Police Depts a flag flown in Iraq by one of our Pendleton Units. They loved them..
    Diana, I agree with others… thank you for your service to our children..and, yes, Maj P is a hero to me too!!

  8. This past fall, for our school’s Make-A-Difference Day, we collected products to have shipped over to soldiers in Iraq. We went to the local recruiters stations and asked them to come in and speak. They were great and really interacted with the kids and explained their jobs and their life. Just an idea for Diana.

  9. HA! I would love to walk into their classroom, get a little loud, and open their little peep holes to WHAT the pledge is about. Why young Americans are fighting for freedom and why it is so important!!! I even have a flag flown over the Kandahar base in Afghanistan that I should send them!!!!

  10. It’s not up to just us teachers to make schools better. Even if you don’t have kids, you can be of assistance to a school, or an individual child, who needs help. At the school I student taught at (in Texas) last fall, there were volunteers who would come to be a “mentor” to at-risk students, at least joining them for lunch once a week. Heck – just volunteer to do things like tutor or be a teacher’s aide. You never know when you’ll be able to make that certain connection with a child!
    I would also like it if more people of the type that frequent milblogs would get into teaching. I’m 36, and this is now my 3rd career (after being an accounting clerk and a software trainer/support tech). Teachers have a lot of responsibilities already, and we can use the extra help.
    One thing I also do is find patriotic children’s books. I have all of Lynne Cheney’s picture books, a couple of Veteran’s Day picture books, and a few others. I plan on writing up little reviews this year, particularly when a book is related to a holiday.

  11. MISS LADY BUG.
    I REMEMBER YEARS AGO WHEN I COACHED LITTLE LEAGUE BASE BALL.I COULDN’T GET ENOUGH KIDS TO FORM A TEAM FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THEY HAD NO WAY TO THE PARK,I TOLD THEM WITH PARENTS APPROVAL I WOULD PICK THEM UP AND TAKE THEM HOME.WE HAD A SO SO LOUSY TEAM, BUT TOWARD THE END WE GOT BETTER,NOT TO SAY I PUT A BOOT UP THEIR ASSES ,BUT I TOLD THEM WE WERE HERE TO HAVE FUN,JUST PLAY THE GAME .
    SOME OF THOSE KIDS STILL POP INTO MY HOUSE TO SAY HI!! REMEMBER ME?
    MOST OF THESE MEN ARE IN THE CT. NATIONAL GAURD OR ARMY,MARINE RESERVE.
    I NEVER THOUGHT OF MYSELF AS A MENTOR,BUT WHAT IS A MENTOR?
    SOME ONE YOU NEVER FORGET?

  12. WOW! This response is overwhelming!!! Thank you guys so much for taking the time to give me some great ideas!!! I have made a promise to myself that I am going to help these children understand what our troops are doing for us and open their eyes the best that I can! I want them to understand why we salute our flag and respect it the way that I was taught to when I was their age. These children need a good lesson on supporting the country that they live in! They dont know how lucky they really are…
    GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS!!!
    Diana

  13. Ladybug,
    Good post. Teachers do a job. They can’t be expected to be momma and daddy. They should not do anything but educate. Yes, teachers do more if they care about kids. There is no substitute for family. We have failed in this Country to give our youth what they need. A chance to count. Revisionist history has left our kids ignorant of the sacrifice our fathers and mothers made.
    You are right that people like us need to get involved in education. We have ceded education, media, and now government to the Left. We have only ourselves to blame. In a time of War we have sold out our kids. Our kids are saddled with a more dangerous world, a debt that will ruin their future, and the prospect of more of the same. I pray that our youth will see the disaster coming their way and correct the path we are going down.
    Here are some of the problems we pass on.
    No good option for Nuke waste.
    NIMBY attitude towards our Energy needs.
    No plan to deal with the reality that the third world will not give a rats about Kyoto.
    Our economy will go in the tank if we let Gore have his way.
    Secular judges and crats will destroy us with the hate America and global courts.
    Apathy by me first Americans is going to cause us to loose a major city.
    Maybe this will resonate. One 30 kiliton nuke set off over Kansas at 300 miles up will fry every computer from Coast to Coast. Russia knew this and now the Chinese know it. Ohio class subs are our only deterrent as is Star Wars deterrent. We better wake up.

  14. Entering the autumn of my life and (finally) understand some stuff that went before me. Those things about immediacy, those about long term, the providing, the going without and yes, know (just a little) about the sacrifice. I was a kid who was indeed safe, well, safer than one in a war zone. Pretty hard for one so young to know about the flag, REALLY know what it takes to keep it free ongoing. For my locale, it’s very difficult to do anything with the school system; these things aren’t a slam-dunk everywhere, and not necessarily due to sleeping at the wheel. Nevertheless, there are many opportunities to influence. For my two cents I do believe some Ohio class sub makes a difference… and I do believe the kids seeing parents write a letter or filling a box for a soldier (they don’t even know) makes a difference… as does a flag in the window, and the tiny one’s sew to our chests (since 9/11). Sure, I’ll keep up my exercise and accuracy in other ways, but day-to-day speaking with confidence and postively about the flag, about our freedom (even about our soldiers) in our communities, even slowing down to explain AnySoldier.com to post office personnel, and @#$!ing standing, hand-on-heart in the presence of uniformed personnel on the bus, at the airport, on the street – and let the politicing (for a moment) rest, makes a difference. I don’t have all that sweeping perfection that’s going to “fix” all, and I my idea of America isn’t badmouthing my neighbor. But a few more supporting those things we share in common: our flag, our freedom, our military… geez, that sounds mighty good to me. Aye, teachers – all kinds – mighty-mighty. Great post, thank you Major.

  15. Just re-reading El Clayton’s comment above, and Major Pain’s. I’m also one who would contribute $$ toward shipping the Major to NJ (Heavens! I’ve lived there B-Marine) to assist Ms. Diana. Bet the kids would pay right close attention, observing your hand-on-heart. Blessings bud.

  16. Go Ms. Diana,
    I wish all teachers saw things your way as well as the young people in and graduating college today and tomorrow. My step-mother is a teacher at an alternative-type school and we discuss what these kids haven’t been taught so they can pass a test; I am amazed at what isn’t taught in schools. So many of our children are coming out of school only half educated and don’t know about why we say the pledge, vote, stand still with hand on heart when the American Anthem is played and why we have the freedoms we have. Other teachers, take heed, you could learn something from this young lady!

  17. Patti~
    As I mentioned before, we need more teachers from this side of the aisle. When going through my teacher education program over the last year and a half, there were some definite left-wing zealots in some of my classes. Mostly, I think it was those middle-of-the-road folks (ladies, primarily) who aren’t into history or current events. I think it would be wonderful if, after completing military service, more of our former military would also go into teaching. I refuse to give up the public education system to the left at this point in time.

  18. Diana, prior to a visit by a soldier, you might consider having the students write a report on the flag. They should explain all of the symbolism in the flag, why it was created, when and by whom it was made, how it changed through time, and what it stands for etc. They should tell when and why and how it was carried into battle and what it represented. It might also help to have a crash course in the Declaration of Independence and American Revolution.
    Once they know this information, they might (hopefully) be able to better understand why they should say the Pledge, and why the soldier is so passionate about defending it.

  19. PEGGY K,
    MAJOR P AND MAJOR TACO AND ALL OUR SERVICE MEMBERS ARE ALL HEROES TO ME.YOU JUST CAN’T SINGLE ONE PERSON OUT.
    JOIN ME IN MY SALUTE AT 1100 HRS TONIGHT FOR OUR TROOPS OR WHEN EVER YOU DECIDE TO HIT THE RACK.
    KEEP ON BEING A GOOD AMERICAN.

  20. As a PTA member, I did something that went over pretty well. Third- to Fifth-graders in our school have responsibility for putting up and taking down the flag every day. I noticed it was a rather haphazard, unbecoming operation, so I got documentation on rules for how the flag should be handled, when it should be at half staff, how it should be raised and lowered, and how it should be folded and put away. They just didn’t realize this was supposed to be a sober daily recognition of flag and country, not something to giggle and play through, and play superman with.
    They were interested in these rules and the reasons behind them, which no one had bothered to teach. (“There’s a certain way you have to fold them??”) They’ve maintained the observation of these principles, and talked to other kids about them. Next year, I’ll be checking to see if they’ve passed on those practices to the next flag group. If not, I’ll do another “class”.

  21. Another good idea is to show short video clips on Flag Day, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day or Armed Forces Day like this one: just google:
    YouTube Navy and Marine Corps Team
    There are many other short, patriotic clips put to music.

  22. The VFW has great info on Flag Education, including proper treatment of flags that need to be retired. There is also a section of their site especially for educators, and I bet you could call the local post and request a veteran come to the classroom to help explain the meaning of the Flag and answer the students questions as well.

  23. AT THE RIGHT TIME, WE REMEMBER
    The honor roll goes back farther than we can remember, it contains names we will never know…
    I wasn’t there when the American Colonial Army stood winter guard in the snows of Valley Forge wearing bloody rags for boots as they fought for my freedom.
    I wasn’t there in the war of 1812.
    I wasn’t in the trenches when the German’s seared the lungs of young American men with mustard gas as they fought for my freedom in World War One.
    I wasn’t at Pearl Harbor when a single Japanese bomb detonated a million pounds of black powder on the Arizona and instantaneously killed over one thousand American sailors preparing to defend my freedom against the Japanese and the Nazis.
    I didn’t see the bullet riddled bodies of the Americans who died defending my freedom in Korea.
    I only vaguely remember the nightly news clips of American soldiers as they carried out our government’s orders in the jungles and swamps and tunnels of Vietnam.
    I have never been with a family who lost a son or a daughter defending Kuwait, Afghanistan, or Iraq.
    I wasn’t there with any of them when they suffered as prisoners of war in any of these wars.
    I have never been with a family whose child died in a peace time military training exercise.
    Not every one of our veterans saw combat. Some were clerks, cooks, mechanics, machinists. Some served during war time, some served during peace time, some serve in peace today, ready for battle tomorrow. Today they prepare for the ongoing war against terrorists. Some gave their lives, some suffered wounds, some saw things that no human should ever have to see, and many did things that no human should ever have to do. And all gave their daily life, for a period of time, while many more gave their time to work in the industries that sustained our veterans.
    Not all of those who have protected my freedom were even in the military. Some of them were the firemen, policemen, and paramedics who risked their lives each day, rushing in where most of us would never tread. Some are the doctors and nurses who treat the wounded, and go home and cry for them. Some of them were “just” passengers on commercial airline flights who, with faith in Christ, calmly chose to fight, and die if necessary, rather than let Flight 93 be used as a weapon against their country and their fellow citizens.
    When I tried to join the US Air Force, my application was turned down for medical reasons.
    Because others were, and will be there, I am privileged to continue to live in the greatest nation the world has ever known and to enjoy the greatest freedoms that any people have ever known.
    The honor roll stretches forward to times, and places, and names we will never know…
    And so I thank you, veteran, whoever you are, and wherever you are, whenever your service.
    Thank you Vet. Thanks Dad. Today, I remember WHY I am free, and I thank you.
    I know that when you were asked, at the right time, like Christ, you gave your life for me.
    Romans 5:6-8
    While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man–though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

  24. Hey,
    I just got done reading your message and I have to say that It touched me. I am a 16 I we still do the pledge and I think we should because there are still men and women over seas. As I read this it make my eyes water. I wish that I could have gone to that Toby Keith comcert. I would have love to have seen that.

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