Friday was a school day but it was also Veterans Day, and across town, schools held individual Veterans Day events.
In Chickahominy, Hamilton Avenue School held a moving ceremony that honored many friends and family of staff and students, including beloved crossing guards John Zmarzlak and Alex Crawford, as well as Peter Carlafles, Billy Elwood and Sarah Haag-Fisk, who all attended in person.
Student council vice president Luca Liamani introduced Mr. Zmarzlak, who served as a Navy “CB” from 1952 to 1956, which was short for the Navy’s Construction Battalion, better known as “the Seabees,” who were responsible for building much of the temporary and permanent structure at the US military locations throughout the world. He also served in the CB Reserves for four years.
Hamilton Avenue School pre-school assistant Catherine Stoltenhoff introduced her father, “Scotty,” Alex Crawford.
“My father came from Scotland and was recruited into the American Army where he served for two years in New Orleans. Our family could not be any more proud of him,” Stoltenhoff said.
Peter Carlafles was introduced by his grandson Tyler Valitutto-Caruso. “This is my grandpa and he served in Operation Desert Storm,” Tyler said.
Billy Elwood was introduced by his daughter Rebecca Fox. She explained that her father joined the Army when he was just 19 years old, after growing up in Greenwich. He was shipped to Georgia for basic training before heading to the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg in North Carolina where he learned how to be a paratrooper.
“That’s someone who jumps out of planes,” Ms Fox said. “He spent the next three years jumping out of planes and protecting our country. I’m so proud of my dad and his service in the Army…He is the bravest person I know, and by far my favorite veteran.”
“Check Your Unconscious Biases about Veterans” – Female Colonel USAF Commander