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Pictured above are Team Respect students explaining their part of the Pledge of Allegiance; honored guests, Retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant John McDonough, Retired Navy Machinist Mate Pete Jones E5, and retired CW5 helicopter pilot Bobi McGettigan in front of a flag that was specially made for the assembly by Team Integrity students; Finnleigh Reynolds shares her holiday greeting with the audience; Tristen Santos has an opportunity to ask the veterans a question. (Courtesy photo)

ASHLAND — For the first time in several years, Ashland Elementary School students and staff were able to gather together for a special Veteran’s Day assembly. Team Respect teacher, Brian Jones, planned and led the event in the school cafeteria.

The morning began with introductions from the three retired veterans who attended the assembly. U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant John McDonough (who is also the AES physical education teacher), Bobi McGettigan CW5, U.S. Army and Peter Jones, E5 Machinist Mate U.S. Navy, shared information about themselves and their military careers. Each of the veterans experienced different branches of the military as well as varied military responsibilities ranging from managing firepower and logistics, to providing meal support to other naval ships during the Vietnam War and finally flying and repairing Blackhawk helicopters.

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