Ret. U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Chris Vaia, member of American Legion Post 38, talks to Osan Elementary School students about proper U.S. flag etiquette at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 9, 2019. Vaia talked to third to fifth grade students about the history of the U.S. flag and what the stars, stripes and colors represent. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sergio A. Gamboa)
Ret. U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Chris Vaia, member of American Legion Post 38, talks to Osan Elementary School students about proper U.S. flag etiquette at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 9, 2019. Vaia talked to third to fifth grade students about the history of the U.S. flag and what the stars, stripes and colors represent. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sergio A. Gamboa)

Osan Students learn about ‘Old Glory’

by Staff Sgt. Sergio A. Gamboa
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The Osan Middle High School (OMHS) Junior ROTC team partnered with American Legion Post 38 to educate elementary students about the U.S. flag at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 9, 2019.

The main goal of the class was to educate Osan Elementary School (OES) students about proper etiquette and behavior when handling the U.S. flag.

“I came out here to let the students know what America is all about, our [American] history, the representation of the flag and how to always be prepared to protect and defend the United States of America,” said Ret. U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Chris Vaia, member of American Legion Post 38. “The event was fantastic, the students were eager to volunteer and learn about the history and meaning behind Old Glory.”

The students, ranging from third to fifth-graders, learned what the stars, stripes and colors on the flag represent and the history of where they came from.

“This was very informative for our students,” said Krista Fagala, a physical education and health teacher at OES. “At the end, I believe it showed the kids how to take pride in their heritage and in the flag.”

The children also had the chance to see an official flag folding ceremony performed by the junior ROTC team, and some were even lucky enough to help.

“Hands-on training is invaluable even if you are working with elementary students,” said Michael Robinson, an administration officer for OMHS and OES. “You figure if you teach them at a young age, what they learn will stick with them. Hopefully they took something from this that they can use, if not now, later on in life.”

Robinson spoke highly to the importance of keeping children educated on heritage, customs, and etiquette of the U.S. flag.

He added, “If we don’t teach younger generations, we’ll forget.”

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