Hoeven, Aurora Elementary Students Honor Veterans and Military Families

WEST FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today met with West Fargo-based Aurora Elementary School students during an assembly held to discuss the meaning of Veterans Day and the importance of honoring America’s military families, and especially the children of military service members. Today’s ceremony is part of a nationwide effort led by the Armed Forces Foundation to designate the week prior to Veterans Day as Operation Caring Classroom as a way to teach students from across the country more about our nation’s veterans, armed forces and military families. Aurora Elementary is representing the State of North Dakota in this program.

“As people across our country prepare to observe Veterans Day, the students and staff at Aurora Elementary deserve praise for their efforts to honor our veterans and military families by participating in the Operation Caring Classroom program,” said Hoeven. “I am pleased to have the chance to join Aurora Elementary today as a way of showing our respect and gratitude to all of the service members and their families who have given so much to our country. It is uplifting to see a group of youth so committed to showing our collective support and appreciation for those who wear the uniform of the United States military.”

Operation Caring Classroom (OCC) is an annual educational initiative run by the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF). The program, now in its seventh year, is designed to educate children about the meaning of Veterans Day and teach them about the work and sacrifices made by America’s veterans, active-duty service members and military families. OCC is held during the week prior to the observance of Veterans Day.

The AFF is a national non-profit organization working to provide support to active-duty, veteran, Reserve and National Guard personnel and their families. The organization focuses special attention to the needs of military families, especially the children of service members, and created OCC as a tool to help bridge understanding and mutual respect between military and civilian children.

North Dakota has the highest per-capital National Guard membership. Currently, approximately 200 members of the North Dakota National Guard are deployed overseas, with more than 4,000 members serving in state. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 3,900 soldiers and 1,800 airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism.