Every May Operation Welcome Home volunteers celebrate Military Appreciation Month by visiting hundreds of schools and teaching military culture and patriotism to thousands of 5th grade students. The students have a chance to ask veterans questions, acknowledge their own military families and gain a new understanding of the importance of military members in their lives. Since 2011, OWH volunteers have taught more than 9,000 students in schools located all over the east valley.
Starting in 2011, for the 10th remembrance of 911, we read a book to over 2,000 4th graders (who were all born that year) about some of the heroic acts displayed that day. In May of 2016 OWH taught over 3,000 students in the East Valley school districts about the military branches, their code and creeds, the differences between Memorial Day and Veterans Day and military honors including the Medal of Honor. The feedback from students and teachers continues to be enthusiastic. This program is a great success and we will continue to expand it each year.