Veterans Thank a South Milwaukee Teacher

Jones with kids
After More Than a Decade thanking Veterans, Veterans Thank a South Milwaukee Teacher
Third Grade Teacher Aaron Jones with his Students

For more than a decade, each Veterans Day E. W. Luther Elementary School third grade teacher Aaron Jones has walked his South Milwaukee students out of school and to veteran memorials or to the American Legion Post to thank a veteran. 

Now, veterans are thanking him. 

Jones was recently named the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8482’s Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award for the 2022-23 school year. 

He was presented with a VFW coin in front of his students, principal, veterans on the staff, and a representative from the School Board and will be honored at a lunch at the VFW post in Oak Creek. 

“His work in bringing you kids up to a veterans post on Veterans Day has always been good,” said VFW member Raymond Gambowski, in presenting the coin to Jones.
“The thank you bags that you kids have dropped off have brought a tear to some old crusty veterans that were so tough, but you gave them watery eyes.” 

Gambowski, a veteran of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, spent time after the presentation talking with the students – which was School Board Member Patrick Hintz’s favorite part. 

“I loved seeing him with the children, and they had great questions for him,” he said. 

That engagement is part of curriculum standards, Jones said, and he makes it part of his instruction every November. Leading up to Veterans Day his students learn what a veteran is, what it means, and how we should thank them for their service. 

That lesson hits home, he said, when the students interact with the veterans during the lunch that’s part of their visit. 

“It is a magical moment. That’s the special part of it, and the kids love it.”

Veterans might not be done thanking Jones just yet. 

Gambowski said each participating VFW Post in the program selects a teacher for the award and submits a nomination to the VFW District level contest.

Winners at the District level are then nominated for a nationwide recognition.