Washington Elementary students hear stories from veterans

Photo by Rebecca Blanchard Robert Breiling speaks about flying a bomber plane to students.
Tom Farmer explains military dog tags to students.

On Monday, Nov. 18, Washington Elementary invited local veterans to the school to share their stories with students.

This event was held in honor of Veterans Day which was recognized on Monday, Nov. 11, this year.

The Veterans were able to display their artifacts, share their experiences and stories, and answer questions from students.

Students were asked to prepare for this program by reviewing the appropriate history as it relates to their curriculum.


Tom Farmer, of the Oley Valley, was one of the veterans chosen to participate in this event.

Farmer served on the U.S. Air Force between the Korean and Vietnam wars and is a regular participant in the Reading Air Show each year. In addition to photos, gear and artifacts, he also brought brochures for the students. One of his artifacts included his Military Dog Tag, which students took a particular interest in. He explained how these tags were used to identify army personnel. He also spoke about the planes that he has flown and had a model on hand for the students to check out.

Robert Breiling, a former B-17 bomber pilot, spoke about flying over Germany. He remembers when the crew got ready to go, they loaded into a brand new B-17 which came right from the factory. In the old days, new cars had a very distinctive smell. Please love that new car smellthe airplane smelled like that.

Scott Neiman, a Desert Shield and Storm Veteran, offered what he referred to as a please touch museum. He presented foreign currency to students, explaining its history and meaning. The students were allowed to handle the money.

you guys can get an idea of what everyone has been through and what people do to keep this country free, said Neiman to the students, in reference to the schools event.

Groups of students rotated to each of the veterans to learn about their experiences.

About the Author

Rebecca Blanchard

Rebecca won't hesitate to tell you that she has enjoyed writing throughout her entire life. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, she graduated from the professional writing program of Kutztown University in 2012. Rebecca joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in July of 2012 as editor of The Boyertown Area Times following her internship with the newspaper. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling and cooking gluten-free foods. Reach the author at rblanchard@berksmontnews.com or follow Rebecca on Twitter: @boyertowntimes.