The kids sang patriotic songs and read essays about veterans and their sacrifices.
"The program was phenomenal," says Cpl. Aaron Mankin of the US Marine Corps (Ret.)
Mankin was badly burned in Iraq, and it took nearly sixty surgeries to rebuild his nose, ears and mouth. He wants kids to understand the sacrifice veterans make to protect our country
"It's important for me that they walk out of here knowing that it takes someone to give time and their effort and sometimes their well-being, to give an arm, to give a leg," he says. "I gave my face for my country and they all saw that."
Mankin says the community helped him survive his ordeal.
"Cards and letters of support and love came to me in my most difficult hour," he says. "It takes a lot out of families, out of communities as a whole to recover from war and conflict."
He wants the kids of Westside Elementary to show the same support for all veterans.
"What we owe these men and women doesn't just stop when the war is over," he says. "There's an obligation we all have, a civic duty, to take care of these individuals."