Posted April 10, 2015
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Hundreds of children and adults gathered around the flagpole at Borman Elementary School, which is located on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and hundreds more wore red, white and blue to celebrate and support military families on Friday.
Tucson Unified School District asked the Tucson community to show the children of Borman—and all children in military families—support during one of the biggest deployments in Davis-Monthan's history.
The request: Wear red, white and blue, take a picture and send it in or post on social media with the tag #RWB4Borman.
Hundreds of pictures have been posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from around Arizona and as far as Idaho and New Jersey.
Kathy Sisler, the school's principal, said the participation from around the city, the state and even the nation has been heart-warming.
"This means so much to us," Sisler said. "Our families, our children are honored and they feel uplifted by the community caring about them and what they face daily."
Dr. H.T. Sánchez, superintendent of Tucson Unified, attended Borman's flag ceremony on Friday morning.
"No one individual member serves in the military by him- or herself," he said. "The whole family serves with them. For all the families and students out here, thank you so much for supporting your moms and dads. They're very brave and very heroic for all the things they do."
The children of Borman Elementary were excited as they marched out for the flag ceremony, but when the flags were raised, they were completely quiet, showing respect to their country. Once the safety guard had the flags up, parents, visitors and faculty watched with pride as the children said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang patriotic songs.
State Rep. Stefanie Mach also attended the event. She told the children that she knows how they feel because her father served in the military, she went to school on base and her father was deployed when she was a child.
"To parents who serve in the military, I deeply, deeply thank you for the work that you do. I very much understand that it's a sacrifice, and it matters a lot to the people of our state and our country."
TUSD Governing Board Clerk Kristel Foster told fourth-graders that she can understand how they feel. Her father was deployed for a year when she was in fourth grade. She said she is proud of the children in all grades and that she was touched by the community support.
"I am really, really, really emotional about what's happening here and about the service that your dads do and your moms do," she said. "And fourth grade, I'm just feeling like a fourth-grader right now. I'm just so proud of this community."
TSgt. Courtney Richardson and her second-grader, Kiana, are preparing for a six-month deployment. Kiana, with the help of the school counselor, has created a life-size poster of herself that her mom can hang on the wall during her deployment, and she's working on a book for her, too.
TSgt. Richardson said that unifying the community is important for military children. "It's always a great idea to get them together so they know they aren't alone," she said.
Roxy Johnson has a first-grader and a fifth-grader at Borman, and she and her husband are retired from military service.
"This is amazing. It shows that we are all one big family," she said.