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Local veteran on second graders' project: 'It filled our hearts with hope'

(Sheridan, Wyo.) — A few months ago, we were thrilled to share about a Holy Name second grade class project led by teacher Mandy Leach called "If I Were President ." It turns out we were not the only ones who were moved. One night, Sheridan residents Gene and Rosemary Brown were watching the news. Gene, a 32-year military veteran who served in Vietnam, saw reports of flag-burnings happening in the United States. He was deeply hurt. "Military members go through a lot, and instilled in them is a love of country," Rosemary told Holy Name students in a school-wide assembly today. The next day, he and his wife went to the Sheridan VA Medical Center, and saw the Holy Name students' work on display. [image: Inline image 1] *Holy Name Second Grader Connor Wood, who made this flag out of red, white and blue army men, which ended up on display at the Sheridan VA Medical Center. h/t Holy Name Catholic School * Gene was lifted up; brought out of the sadness he had been feeling the night before. "It filled our hearts with hope that this generation will love our country as much as we do," Rosemary told the students. Gene told Dally that he and his wife called to thank the school, but then decided to do more. The students deserved more. So with help from National Guard Specialist Yvette Romero and Pfc. Logan Churchill, Gene and his wife planned a thank-you assembly, with a plaque of honor for the second grade to be received by Connor Wood. Wood had made an especially moving American flag out of army men—the piece that had so uplifted Gene that spring morning. At one moment during the assembly today, Holy Name Principal Mary Drake asked who in the room was former military. A few stood. Then she asked who had children, brothers or sisters, parents and grandparents in the military. Nearly everyone stood. "So all of you know what it is, what it means to have family in the military," Drake said. [image: Inline image 4] *Rosemary and Gene Brown with the Holy Name second graders today. / Pitchengine Communities* [image: Inline image 2] *Plaque for the Second Grade Class / Pitchengine Communities photo* [image: Inline image 5] *Students stand to show they have family or loved ones in the military. / Pitchengine Communities* [image: Inline image 6] *Gene shakes hands with the second graders today. / Pitchengine Communities* #dally #news