Mrs. Treml’s 4th grade class at Roscommon Middle School made Christmas cards for patients at the VA Hospital in Saginaw for the second year in a row.
She then had Calvin Witherspoon of Roscommon come talk to the class about his service in the armed forces before he gathered the cards to deliver to the hospital.
Witherspoon, custodian at Roscommon High School, spent 27 years in the service, joining the army in 1974. He spent 10 years in active duty, then joined the National Guard.
During his visit to Treml’s class, he asked the students if they knew the five branches of the military (they did). And he spoke about where the Veteran’s hospitals are located. Witherspoon explained that Veterans who don’t have health insurance go to the Veterans hospitals to be treated for such things as cancer, broken bones, colds and flu; and that many will be at the hospital during Christmas.
He also talked about his time in the service as a non-commissioned officer in the US Army. Then the floor was open for questions from the students. Those questions ranged from ‘Have you ever driven a tank?’ (no); ‘Have you been to Utah?’ (no); and ‘What did you learn?’ (what was your specialty? Infantry)
Witherspoon showed the students where Qwait was, where he was stationed in 2005. He
talked about how long it took to get there, what the terrain was like, and what the weather was like there. At one point the temperatures were 140–145 degrees Fahrenheit where he was stationed.
“You’ve heard the saying ‘It’s so hot you can cook an egg (on the sidewalk) We tried,”
Witherspoon said. The egg looked like it was starting to cook, but didn’t.
While Witherspoon’s visit to the class was dual purposed, the true reason came out in Elizabeth’s question to Witherspoon.
“Would you say something to the Veterans?” she asked. “(Tell them) I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
Witherspoon took the time to write the message down, as well as her name so that he could relay it along with the many cards he took to deliver.