Hallway Parade Honors Military Families

Sixth-grader honors military parentsIn honor of the many hard-working, sacrificing military families, Patterson Middle School conducted a hallway parade Thursday with students cheering on their military-connected peers.

Patterson MS military parade


More than 400 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders who identify themselves as military-related students took part in the parade, which was moved inside due to the wet weather.


Soldiers from the Patterson adopt-a-school unit and a few parents participated in the walk through the school.


November is National Veterans and Military Family Month.


Patterson Principal Christina Harris has always identified with military families. Both of her parents served - her dad 23 years in the U.S. Army and her mom 20 years in the Reserves.


Sixth-grader Hope Phay surprised her parents with her excitement over the school parade.


The night before the event, she put together a poster with photos of her dad during his service in the U.S. Army, which concluded before she was born.



Both of her parents, Kosal and Prisana Phay participated in the school parade and she and her dad wore military attire.


“I decided I should make a poster for my parents and their service,” she said.


She acknowledged that she had no memory of her dad’s six years of service, but said she was no less proud of him and of her mom’s status as a military wife.


“I’m proud of my parents. Their service is important.”


Patterson Assistant Principal James Cook, a retired Veteran, dressed in Army uniform and directed the students as they exited the cafeteria, each grade level walking down their specific hallway.

Patterson military paradeParade honors military families


The Phays said it was their daughter who came to them, requested photos for her poster and invited them to the school event.


“This was a shock, that she wanted to do something,” said her dad, who said their family rarely discusses military service since he’s been out since 2005.


“She wanted to show off to her friends that she is part of a military family,” her mother said. “She really wanted us to come.”


“The idea was to bring parents in and to recognize students who have experienced the hardship that comes with military service,” Harris explained.


Officially, 46 percent of the middle school’s enrollment is military connected.


“I lived that life, moving every three years,” the principal said. “I lived in Germany and in states all over the United States.”


As a teacher and administrator at the high school level and now as a middle school principal, Harris has many opportunities to relate to students with a military identity.


The biggest challenge, she said, is the challenge of all new students, to make new friends and assimilate to a new environment.


April is Month of the Military Child, a separate designation from the month honoring military families.