Last week was a special week in Ms. Cleary’s first grade class at Morris Brandon Primary. The school was in the middle of its annual one million minute Read-A-Thon, which means daily visits from several parent and community volunteer readers. Tuesday was also Veterans Day and for one special student, the occasions were one in the same.
Maj. Richard Peace made a special surprise visit to Ms. Cleary’s class after more than seven months serving with the Alabama Air National Guard in Afghanistan. It was the first time he had seen his daughter, Jada, since last spring.
As her father appeared at her classroom door Jada exclaimed, “Daddy!”
After receiving a big long hug from his daughter, Maj. Peace was surrounded by Brandon students. He answered endless questions about his job in the Air National Guard, his F-16 aircraft, the weather in Afghanistan and the length of his trip back home to Atlanta. To show their appreciation, the students also showed their recent art projects that included a study of Veterans Day. A 12-year veteran, Maj. Peace has just completed his fifth combat deployment. This tour was based at the largest military base in Afghanistan, Bagram Airfield.
In addition to having her dad and mom visit the class, the family also received a surprise call from Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen. Dr. Carstarphen welcomed him back home and thanked him for his military service. She also offered him an open invitation to share his story and experiences with other students in APS. Maj. Peace graciously accepted.