nerf-gun-war

Marines veteran Kathy McHan, right, leads a Nerf gun battle Friday with students in the Meadow Valley Homeschool Group.

SERENITY K. ORR, Elko Daily Correspondent

ELKO — Home-schoolers from Meadow Valley Homeschool Group met Nov. 10 to honor veterans with a lesson, show and tell, and a game of Capture the Flag at the LDS church on College Parkway.

Meadow Valley Homeschool Group meets throughout the year to go on field trips and to serve the community.

For Veterans Day, Kathy McHan, a member of the group who joined the Marines at the age of 17, offered to speak with the children. The children were asked to share stories of veterans from their families. These stories ranged from the 1770s to modern times.

The celebration ended with a Nerf gun version of Capture the Flag.

“We are here to remember our veterans,” McHan said, after calling the children to order. “It’s (Veterans Day) always on November 11th in order to remember a very special day at the end of a war. At the end of a war called World War I, we signed something called an armistice. Armistice marked the end of the war. And so it was a really, really happy day, everyone was celebrating a time when people wouldn’t be dying anymore.”

She explained the history of the holiday to the children.

“And so now, we celebrate all veterans, not just the ones that served in that one war.

“So what I’d like to do is celebrate our family members who are currently serving or have served previously.”

McHan called on children to share what they had learned about family members, and some had pictures to show the group.

Madison Wahl shared a story of her “six times great grandfather,” Eleazer Lindley, a lieutenant colonel during the War for Independence.

“The story is he directly served under General George Washington,” she said.

After the war was over, Washington gave him a ring and one of his vests.

“After his death, his children made pin cushions out of it (the vest).”

Kelton Spencer shared about his Great Grandpa Knudsen, who served in the Army Air Corps, calling him “an expert rifleman to guard prisoners.” He was able to do other duties as well because he could “type one word a second, 60 words a minute.”

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Kelton explained that his great grandpa never went overseas, though, because he wasn’t tall enough.

Brynlee Spencer, Kelton’s little sister, shared about Great Grandpa Weaver, who joined the Army Air Corps when he was 16. He’d lied about his age because he didn’t want to go to “bad boy school.” During World War II, he served in North Africa on top secret missions.

After sharing, it was time for the fun.

“There are a lot of hard and bad things about the military, being away from our family for a long time, but there are a lot of fun and exciting things,” Kathy McHan said.

“All right now, our capture the flag ... You are not out if you get hit by a bullet,” McHan instructed. “If someone on the other team tags you, you do have to go to jail.”

The student lined up into two lines and formed two teams, purple and yellow. When the signal was given, the Nerf darts flew.

The pretend soldiers used chairs and tables turned on their sides for cover. The first battle went to the purple team, while the second ended in a draw.

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