Estancia High School students took a trip on Veterans Day to a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, where they met real-life war heroes in person.
The students had prepared gift bags filled with toiletries, and made cards along with Costa Mesa High School students, which they distributed to veterans who had lost limbs and even eyeballs in service to their country, Estancia technology teacher Mike DeLaO said.
His students, as well as students from John Yeomans’ class, distributed more than 100 gift bags and talked to veterans about everything from sports to war stories, he said.
A band then performed oldies music for the veterans, while students served them barbecued hamburgers or hot dogs.
“I witnessed some of the more spirited patients clapped their hands along with the music that brought back old memories,” DeLaO said. “By the end of the trip, it was clear the veterans had thoroughly enjoyed the day.”
The hospital told DeLaO that his school was the first ever to perform such a visit on Veteran’s Day.
“A new appreciation was found for the heroes that laid their lives on the line for our country,” he said. “Their sacrifices were all different but they hope for the same thing: that one day all wars will end, and people will no longer have to die over territory or resources.”
The school was asked to visit again for Christmas.
— Candice Baker