Students show an appetite for veterans' stories at breakfast

  • Jonathan Protus, 13, talks with World War II veteran Joe Gray of Vernon Hills during the Veterans Day breakfast Friday at Hawthorn Middle South in Vernon Hills.

      Jonathan Protus, 13, talks with World War II veteran Joe Gray of Vernon Hills during the Veterans Day breakfast Friday at Hawthorn Middle South in Vernon Hills. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Aashini Kochar, 14, shakes hands with Richard May of Lindenhurst after talking to the Army veteran Friday.

      Aashini Kochar, 14, shakes hands with Richard May of Lindenhurst after talking to the Army veteran Friday. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Brian Hill/bhill@dailyherald.comJoe Schwarz of Vernon Hills, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, talks with Payton Sobacki, 11, right, and Yael Pikus, 12, during a Veterans Day breakfast Friday at Hawthorn Middle South in Vernon Hills.

    Brian Hill/bhill@dailyherald.comJoe Schwarz of Vernon Hills, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, talks with Payton Sobacki, 11, right, and Yael Pikus, 12, during a Veterans Day breakfast Friday at Hawthorn Middle South in Vernon Hills.

 
 
Updated 11/8/2019 7:40 PM

There was no evidence of a generation gap Friday during the Veterans Day breakfast at Hawthorn Middle School South in Vernon Hills.

The sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students were eager to hear from the 40+ veterans who attended the event.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Army veteran Joe Schwarz of Vernon Hills noted the difference between Friday morning's fare and the food the troops had during the Vietnam War.

"We had C-rations to eat," Schwarz told sixth-graders Payton Sobacki, 11, and Yael Pikus, 12.

World War II Navy veteran Joe Gray of Vernon Hills was peppered with questions from 13-year-old Jonathan Protus as they talked about his service.

"I saw the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima, from my boat," Gray told Jonathan with a big smile during the short interview with the eighth-grader.

The veterans also were treated to performances by the school chorus, band and orchestra.

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