ILES Veterans Day Recognition

ILES Veterans Day Recognition
Posted on 11/08/2019
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Private First Class Elijah Knief is experiencing his first Veterans Day as a brand new veteran in the company of home. 

PFC Knief attended the Indian Lake Elementary School Veterans Day Recognition Ceremony Friday after returning from the service earlier this week. After graduating from Indian Lake in 2016, PFC Knief immediately entered the Army. He was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado and later deployed as a Cavalry Scout for nine months in Afghanistan.

At age 22, he was youngest veteran at the event, which he calls a gratifying welcome home. 

“It feels good and overwhelming at the same time,” Knief explains. 

Fourth graders joined Knief and nearly 40 area veterans and their spouses outside the school as members of the Charles Collins Post 381 Women's Auxiliary in Huntsville helped students raise the flag. They all said the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. Then everyone went inside, where the entire student body lined the halls waving flags for an ILES "clap around. " Veterans walked through the cheering crowd, giving hugs and high fives. 

After the joyous clap around, veterans and their ILES family members met in the cafeteria for a reception. Veterans shared information about their time in the service and posed for pictures. Student Council members read poems and famous quotes that honor veterans and second graders sang patriotic tunes. 

Knief was able to connect with other local veterans about life after the military. 

“I’m still trying to wrap my head around the word ‘veteran,' and the feeling of being out (of the military) compared to being in." 
Knief plans to work on his family’s Lewistown area farm for the time being. 

Watch ILES students raise the American flag while students and veterans sing the National Anthem.