World War II Vets and Spouses Speak to Freshmen


Video of WWII Speakers by Sam White

By Abby Davidson

World War II veterans and their families at home had many experiences that are different from today. The best way to learn is from firsthand sources. Freshmen in U.S. History class were privileged to hear from two local veterans of the era.

Veterans, Fred Lehman and John Wolfe were assisted in presenting by their spouses Marion Lehman and Betty Wolfe. Every year, for over six years, World War II vets from the Mount Vernon area talk to the U.S. History students.

Students learned what it was like to keep close relationships while away, what the soldiers had missed, and what it was like back home. The vets and their spouses shared personal stories. Stories helped connect students to what it truly was like for someone in the United States at the time of World War II.

“It was as if the letters had actually been read in front of us,” said freshman Haley Hepker. “When they told about how they always responded to one another’s letters as soon as they could, even with people checking on their letters back and forth, it made me question why people can’t respond to my texts.”

The stories told brought back heartfelt memories, good and bad.

Rather than sitting in a classroom and taking notes, students could sit and listen to the stories. For some it would be the highlight of their time spent in U.S. History. In the future there is no guarantee how much longer we will hear personal accounts from the people that actually experienced the war, fighting or here in America.

Saying goodbye to the speakers meant that everyone would go back to a normal school day. Students sent thank you cards to the soldiers and spouses that took the time to visit them. It’s not every day you get to experience a meeting quite like this one.

 

John and Betty Wolfe and Fred and Marion Lehman  speak to U.S. History students at Mount Vernon High School about their experiences during World War II. Foreign exchange student Lara Celeghin from Italy shows Mr. Lehman a picture she drew of him during the presentation. Photo by Abby Davidson.
John and Betty Wolfe and Fred and Marion Lehman speak to U.S. History students at Mount Vernon High School about their experiences during World War II. Foreign exchange student Lara Celeghin from Italy shows Mr. Lehman a picture she drew of him during the presentation. Photo by Abby Davidson.