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The goal is simple - to continue to grow this partnership between Rayson-Miller Post 899 and the Thornell Road Elementary School!

An Awesome Partnership - Time-line

Honoring Those Who Serve

2013 to 2016

November 2013 - Mrs. Toni Stevens-Oliver asked our Post Commander, Al Herdklotz to speak to her fourth grade class about Veterans Day. After speaking with the class, he was introduced to the Principle of the school Roger Debell and discussions ensued of having him back in the spring to share more about veterans with her class.

June 2014 - Flag Day the Post provided an Honor Guard and spoke about our Flag.

November 2014 - Mr. Jeff Mason spoke to this new fourth grade class about Veterans’ Day, and discussions with Al Herdklotz continues with Thornell Road Elementary School about ways to connect veterans and students.

June 2015 - Rayson-Miller provides an Honor Guard for Thornell Road Elementary School’s Flag Day ceremony.

Nov 2015 - Al Herdklotz speaks to the fourth grade class for Veterans’ Day and Toni’s kids made red, white and blue table decorations for the Post home.

June 2016 - Rayson-Miller participates in Flag Day ceremony at the school and provides an Honor Guard.

December 2016 - Rayson-Miller hosts a breakfast for Toni’s fourth grade class. The kids brought paper wreaths they had made for Veterans Day. The school year of 2016-2017 the book “Honoring Those Who Serve” was presented. That fall interviews were conducted with Al Herdklotz, Lou Pepin, Ted Bennett, Linda Andersen, Steve Wilterdink.

Veterans Voices

2017 to 2018

January 2017 - Principle Debell and teacher Toni Stevens-Oliver attended the Rayson-Miller New Year’s brunch and spoke about the ‘partnership’. Toni made a presentation on the progress of the book “Honoring Those Who Serve” and talked about doing interviews with volunteers for a new book “Veterans’ Voices”.

Fall 2017 - Toni Steven-Oliver’s class and their first grade buddies in Mrs. Hess’s class made red, white and blue paper lanterns to decorate the Post for Veterans’ Day. This time-frame is also when interviews began for the new book.

January 2018 - Rayson-Miller hosts two breakfasts half of the fourth grade class and half of the first grade buddies and the second breakfast for the other half of the fourth grade class and their first grade buddies. Roger Debell and Toni Stevens-Oliver attend the Rayson-Miller 2018 New Year’s brunch and speaks to the ‘partnership’ between Thornell Road Elementary School and the Rayson-Miller post. Toni also requests more participation and more veterans to be interviewed.

March 20, 2018 - The new book dedication and presentation ceremony took place in the auditorium at Thornell Road Elementary School. The photo at the top of this page was an impromptu, totally candid salute by the members of Rayson-Miller to the fourth grade class who had worked so hard in make “Veterans’ Voices” a reality.

WHAM 13 News

June 2018 - Rayson-Miller again partners with Thornell Road Elementary School in a very special Flag Day ceremony and the school provides refreshments afterwards for the Rayson-Miller members.

Our Protectors of Freedom book

2019 to 2022

Covid - March 2020 the US shut down businesses except for essential workers and schools had to quickly begin the process of at home teaching. The Rayson-Miller Post was closed down and all types of communications began via telephone and video conferencing. This affected the ability to continue the close partnership the Post had previously enjoyed with the Thornell Elementary School. All events were cancelled. Projects came to a halt.

June 13, 2022 - Mrs. Toni Stevens-Oliver and her fourth-grade class presented the Rayson-Miller Post 899 with their book "Our Protectors of Freedom". This book contains the stories from the Post veterans of their time in the military as told to the students during interviews conducted in the fall of 2021. The interviews were recorded so that the students could then write content for the book on each veteran interviewed. The drawings of the veterans, in full disclosure, were outlined traced and then the students filled in the outline.This represents the 8th year of Mrs. Stevens-Oliver's class partnership with the Rayson-Miller Post members. The students learn what military life was like and can then have an appreciation for what our country's veterans sacrificed being in the military.The very next day was Flag Day and the Post was invited to participate in the school's ceremony.

Flag Day TRES with RM899 Honor Guard

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Rayson-Miller American Legion Post 899 supports the community's youth programs and our initiative of Veterans Supporting Veterans with donations.

Please consider donating today!

For any generous donation of $25 or more receive this beautifully embroidered 4 inch patch as our Thank You gift.

Rayson-Miller Post 899 is a 501(c)(19) not for profit organization. Your donations are tax deductible.

Veterans Supporting Veterans patch