Middle school Junior Reserve students celebrate Valentine's Day with veterans

Feb 9, 2018

Potential future members of the United States military marched (though not single file) to the Kendrick House on Friday to give veterans Valentine’s Day cards and to express appreciation for their service.

Wareham Middle School Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps students had the idea of making cards for veterans since February is “the month of peace and love” at the school, said Lt. Colonel Matt Stanton, who advises eighth graders in the corps. The Kendrick House, located at 76 High St., is a group home for disabled veterans.

Students who signed up for the corps during Viking Block, a period of time for students to focus on values, giving back to the the community or getting homework help, love getting involved, Stanton said.

“They see it as a way to give back after hearing their parents’ and grandparents’ stories,” Stanton said, since about half the students in the program have family who have served in the military.

The Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps is a military regulated program in the middle school and high school that educates students on leadership and citizenship, preparing them for a potential career in the military.

A group of 15 corps students visited the Kendrick House, bringing donuts, posters, cards and small gifts to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

“Since they put so much effort into serving us, we should give something back,” said Mason Murdock, one of the corps members. Murdock said he hopes to join the military someday.

Shania Donoghue, one of the eighth graders who visited the Kendrick House, said she has wanted to join the military since she watched the movie “G.I. Joe.” She said she wanted to visit the veterans to ask them about their experiences.

“I want to show them that we appreciate what they've done being away from their families and risking their lives,” Donoghue said.

The students had a warm reception at the Kendrick House from the veterans.

“I pray for you guys every day,” said Kevin Connolly, a veteran who enjoyed chatting with each student.

The students were affected by their time with the veterans as well.

“I think I can speak on behalf of all of us, for everything you did for us, it's the least that we can do,” said Logan Cisneros, a corps member. “I feel like as the next generation we should probably do this more often.”

Most of the students shared Cisneros' desire to spend more time with the veterans.

“I wish we could do this every Friday,” said Murdock.