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Military children participate in White House holiday celebration

Release #121115-1 posted on Nov 15, 2012
Haley Groue, daughter of Dustin and Jennifer Groue; Caleb McCommas, son of Joshua and Jessica McCommas; and Gabrielle Singleton, daughter of Thomas and Samantha Singleton, fourth graders at Scott Elementary School, create ornaments to be hung on the official White House Christmas Tree. U.S. Transportation Commandand other Combatant Commands were asked by the White House to distribute the stars to children of military members for decoration. Photo by Christine Pesout, USTRANSCOM/PA

Haley Groue, daughter of Dustin and Jennifer Groue; Caleb McCommas, son of Joshua and Jessica McCommas; and Gabrielle Singleton, daughter of Thomas and Samantha Singleton, fourth graders at Scott Elementary School, create ornaments to be hung on the official White House Christmas Tree. U.S. Transportation Commandand other Combatant Commands were asked by the White House to distribute the stars to children of military members for decoration. Photo by Christine Pesout, USTRANSCOM/PA

View High Resolution Image on Flickr
Ornaments created by Scott Elementary School students to be hung on the official White House Christmas Tree. First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden asked children of military families, via U.S. Transportation Command and other Combatant Commands, to create Christmas ornaments that honor their brave parents. Photo by Christine Pesout, USTRANSCOM/PA

Ornaments created by Scott Elementary School students to be hung on the official White House Christmas Tree. First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden asked children of military families, via U.S. Transportation Command and other Combatant Commands, to create Christmas ornaments that honor their brave parents. Photo by Christine Pesout, USTRANSCOM/PA

View High Resolution Image on Flickr
Haley Groue, daughter of Dustin and Jennifer Groue; Caleb McCommas, son of Joshua and Jessica McCommas; and Gabrielle Singleton, daughter of Thomas and Samantha Singleton, fourth graders at Scott Elementary School, with ornaments they created for the official White House Christmas Tree. First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden asked children to decorate a Christmas ornament in a way that represented their families. Photo by Christine Pesout, USTRANSCOM/PA

Haley Groue, daughter of Dustin and Jennifer Groue; Caleb McCommas, son of Joshua and Jessica McCommas; and Gabrielle Singleton, daughter of Thomas and Samantha Singleton, fourth graders at Scott Elementary School, with ornaments they created for the official White House Christmas Tree. First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden asked children to decorate a Christmas ornament in a way that represented their families. Photo by Christine Pesout, USTRANSCOM/PA

View High Resolution Image on Flickr

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — Children of local military families are helping to decorate the White House this holiday season. First lady Michelle Obama and second lady Dr. Jill Biden asked kids from military installations to decorate ornaments that will be hung on the official White House Christmas tree.

“We encourage you to use your imagination through words, pictures, and drawings to create a Christmas ornament that honors your brave parent,” said the memo signed by Obama and Biden that accompanied 100 blank cardboard stars sent to U.S. Transportation Command. “Thank you for helping with this important project, and most of all for your family’s courageous service to our nation.”

The stars were distributed among fourth grade students at Scott Elementary School in the Mascoutah Community Unit School District.

“This was the coolest thing,” said Cindy Presnell, Scott Elementary principal. “We read the letter from the White House and offered students the option of decorating a star. Every hand went up in every room.”

Students were asked to reflect on their heritage and past holiday celebrations. That led to conversations about traditions and an earnest effort to give the first lady what she wanted.

“I thought it was a cool opportunity to put something [on the ornament] that would be touching to [Ms. Obama],” said Gabrielle Singleton, daughter of Thomas and Samantha Singleton, of the statement of support for troops she included on her ornament.

“The students took the project seriously and took it as an honor to do it,” said Presnell.

- USTRANSCOM -

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