"Sometimes it seems children can ask the toughest questions. They also can present some of the most off-the-wall queries imaginable. Such was the case Monday morning at Pinecrest Elementary as the school had a Veterans Day program in its cafeteria. The event featured a performance from the Pinecrest chorus, an appearance from the Greenwood High School color guard and a speech and question-and-answer session with Army National Guard Sgt. Jacob Porter. Near the end of his speech, Porter opened the floor for questions from the students, who ranged from K-4 to fifth grade. One of the first questions asked, by a youngster near the front row, was: “Have you ever killed a monster?...”
... Pinecrest special education teacher Sandee Fifer also spoke to the students, telling them about her roles with the Gold Star and Blue Star Mothers.“A Gold Star Mother is a mother that has lost a child to a war,” Fifer said, to the children. “My son (Sgt. Eric Fifer) was killed in October 2005 in Iraq. I am also a Blue Star Mother, which is a group of mothers who have children currently serving in the military. However, I am lucky to say that my (currently serving) son (2nd Lt. Shawn Futch) is not deployed at this time.”Mona Johnson, who is an active leader among local Blue Star Mothers, said her group is collecting items for Christmas stockings to send to deployed soldiers. Johnson said items needed for these stocking include coffee, hot chocolate, hard candy, hand and foot warmers and hot chocolate.Johnson said anyone wanting to donate those items should bring them to the American Red Cross Operations Center on Epting Avenue, Emerald Baptist Church or Pinecrest Elementary by Dec. 1."
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