Local middle school honors veterans

EMPIRE, Coos Bay, Ore.-- Veterans that live in the Bay Area were honored by a local middle school Thursday.

Sunset Middle School hosted the veterans at their annual Veterans Day assembly and afterwards hosted a small breakfast in the school's library for their honored visitors.

"It puts a face with a name," said Jay Inskeep, Sunset Middle School principal. "It allows our students to bring relatives who are veterans in and recognize them more formally, and I think it formulates the things we teach our students every day to be good citizens and good Americans ."

Many of the students at Sunset have spent their entire lives with America at war in Afghanistan. Those who are old enough to have spent some of their life in peace time are too young to remember what it is like.

The veterans KCBY spoke with said growing up in war time causes this generation to respect military service and veterans more.

"The way the wars and conflicts are presented on the news and such they're more in tune to what's going on," said Gene Melton, U.S. Navy veterand and Coos Bay city councilor.

Melton said because the students are more in-tune with current events and their consquences, they know about the care veterans need when they come home from the front lines.

"There are the people who've fought on European soil in World War II, and they got to see some Vietnam Veterans," Tom Bennett, U.S. Army Veteran, said. "I think it sends a very important message to these kids."

Both veterans said they would recommend a career in the military to any of the children that asked them for advice.