2017-11-16 / Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Military Appreciation Month

To the Editor:

In the waning nostalgia of summer memories and anticipation of winter celebrations, our nation takes time to celebrate the dedication and sacrifices of our military families. The observance of Thanksgiving is extended to the entire month through Presidential Declaration that November be designated as Military Family Appreciation Month. One’s choice to serve in any of the five branches of service to country and principles effects the individual, his or her family, friends, home community and the communities into which they enter for assignment.

Middletown, along with its sister communities, is fortunate – blessed - to host these individuals and families for the length of their assignment. Their very presence and integration into our midst brings a depth and richness of what it means to be a “neighborhood”. As families navigate new surroundings, unpack belongings, settle their children into the school systems, and stretch to make new acquaintances, it is our responsibility to be supportive in their time of intense transition.

As the Middletown Prevention Coalition (MPC) and Islanders Committed, the MPC’s youth initiative, we recognize the pressures that come with so much in such a short time. A critical component of focus of the MPC is to create a safe, drug-free environment for families to nurture the healthy practices that lead to successful growth. Though the core mission of the Coalition is prevention and awareness of the impact of marijuana and alcohol on youth, we maintain that building the foundation of healthy families is a major component of prevention. Collaborating with many sectors of the community– schools, parents, youth, businesses– we offer programs, initiatives and events to the Middletown community. We celebrate the opportunity to include our military families.

As welcoming neighbors, we join with our extended national community to remind Middletown of the contributions and sacrifices that military personnel and their family support systems make on behalf of us all. Together, we are challenged to lift one another to the highest degree of respect, opportunity and equity. Join us in honoring these wonderful families with our respect, remembrance and committed response to being a deeply welcoming community.

Pastor Laurie Pauley
Middletown Prevention Coalition
Member

A Thank You to Our Service Men and Women

Veterans Day is a perfect opportunity to thank those brave men and women who have proudly dedicated themselves to protecting our nation. Newport is lucky to be enriched with so many people who serve in the Armed Forces.

The fifth graders at Thompson Middle School showed their appreciation to local veterans by hosting an assembly last week. Special thanks to Carl Cowen and the RHS Junior ROTC for the presentation of colors. The TMS Advanced Band, under Mr. Don Chilton, played the National Anthem triumphantly. Representative Marvin Abney, also an Army Veteran, delivered inspirational words for the audience. Several parent veterans were also in attendance and were proudly introduced by their child(ren). We’d like to thank Mr. Bryan Dahlquist, Mr. Dexter Hoag, Mrs. Carrie Rochelle, Mr. Brian Rochelle (all parents), as well as Mr. Dan Leonard, Ms. Chelsea Creekmuir, Mr. Donald Chilton, and Mr. Marvin Abney for being honored guests.

Thank you to fifth graders Allyson Baker, Ranya Ballard, Laura & Emma Hoag, Grace Rochelle, Anna Dahlquist, Yasser Alairi, Trinity Monteiro, Ella DiBari, Ty Rodrigo, Giovanni Putnam, and Kendall Jaquette for their participation.

Wreaths with inspirational and appreciative sentiments were presented to each veteran. The ceremony closed with the band playing the TMS Fight Song.

All students were encouraged to take a minute out on their “day off” to think about the sacrifices our veterans make on our behalf. Students were also encouraged to “thank a veteran for their service” if they happen to pass one by.

Thank you to everyone who supported our assembly in any way.

Lindsey Cruff and Melissa Turner
Grade 5 Teachers TMS

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