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Veterans teach students lessons outside of classroom

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COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) ---On Friday, Chris Richards brought Logan Elementary students to Columbia's Annual Veterans Day Parade for some lessons outside the classroom.

He said it’s been a tradition long before he was principal and one that gets his students engaged and learning. "It is very important for our students, our young students to get exposure to those who have served before and have been around.”

Navy veteran Earl Long served six years in the Navy and was deployed to the Philippines. Friday was extra special, and a day he said he'll never forget. "Today is my 49th anniversary with my wife,” Long said. “So we decided to come out and enjoy."

More than 70 bands, organizations, first responders, and groups from all over the state showing their support at this year's 39th Annual Veterans Day Parade. This year's Grand Marshal was retired Colonel Jack Van Loan.

The Air Force fighter pilot was shot down during the Vietnam War and spent six years as a POW. "It celebrates the awareness and livings people up.”

For students, this may be a fun field trip down the street, but a trip their principal said starts the conversation about the area's veterans. "It's a pleasure for us to come out,” Richards said. “We appreciate the city of Columbia for doing this and supporting this and it's great for our kids to see this and get this connection."

The veterans day parade is one of the largest in the southeast.

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