Students honor generations of military veterans at Hinsdale elementary school

Madison Elementary in Hinsdale hosted several generations of military veterans on Veterans Day.

The students honored them by singing patriotic songs, and learned that serving in the military isn't just about combat.

Three generations of veterans shared stories, memories and artifacts from their time in the military.

"I brought my helmet that I wore, and I thought you all...this is the actual helmet that I wore in Vietnam. Thank you for having us today," said one veteran, hoisting his now-50 year-old helmet.

"I built things," another veteran told the first-through-fifth graders. "Runways, schools, bridges, hospitals."


"I flew the transport helicopters which were kind of like airborne Jeeps or trucks or sometimes ambulances," said another veteran.  "We hauled everything you could imagine."

"I'm very grateful to the school for holding this every year and just making this important and that resonates not only with the students but with the soldiers and veterans as well," said Dr. Christopher Colbert, an Army Doctor.

This was the 19th year that Joseph Craig, who served during the Vietnam War, participated in the Veterans Day celebration.

He said he hopes Friday's event inspires children not necessarily to join the military, but to do something positive for their country.