July 16, 2024
Annapolis, US 78 F

Severna Park High School Seniors give an overdue welcome home to Vietnam veterans

Severna Park High School’s Leadership Institute has been preparing its students for three years to complete their own leadership project. They started developing this project with the help of Hospice of the Chesapeake. Hospice of the Chesapeake hosts the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration annually on March 30th. Isabel and Haley both attended the event in 2016 and knew they wanted to become more involved.

Haley and Isabel’s passion stems from both of their grandfathers who fought in the Vietnam War. After speaking with Diane Sancilio, Volunteer Services Director at Hospice of the Chesapeake, it was evident that a younger generation was needed to express gratitude to the veterans. Many Vietnam veterans feel guilt, resentment, and shame for their service due to the way the American public treated them when they came home. Haley and Isabel made it their mission to show those veterans how much their service really meant.

Leadership Institute juniors accompanied by National Honor Society students interacted with the veterans and thanked them for their service. Each student collected multiple “Words of Wisdom” from the veterans and consequently learned about our countries history and the sacrifices these veterans made. Students took what they learned at the celebration and wrote letters to first responders, new recruits, and veterans through Operation Gratitude. These letters will be used in the care packages that Operation Gratitude sends to military and first responder personnel.

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