Local veteran addresses students

By Shashu Wells

Special to the Star

BALDWIN —  Baldwin Elementary students learned what it means to be a veteran from a visit by Baldwin resident Justin Wert.

Wert attended an after-school program at Baldwin Elementary called Project Focus, a program organized by TrueNorth Community Services, a nonprofit organization which aims to strengthen communities by guiding families to independence and building healthy communities.

During the program, Wert answered students' questions and told them of his history with the military.

Upon arrival, Wert began with the topic of what a veteran is. He informed the students a veteran is not only someone who has served in the military, but also someone who has served many years in a particular field. He then continued on with his experience in the U.S. Army, beginning by telling the students about the attacks that took place on Sept. 11, and how that day affected his choice to enter the military. He told them how he felt about the military and his options after high school which were essentially the military or factory work.

As time was winding down, he opened the floor for questions and student’s hands flew in the air. Students asked many questions, such as: what type of gun was he trained to use, what branch of service he served in and what a typical day was like for him. One student asked what his favorite part of the being in the service was and he answered honestly and humorously by saying "a steady paycheck."

As the program ended, students thanked Wert and presented him with a token of gratitude as they left.