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"This Is Parkway" Digital Magazine

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Veterans Day 2010

Major BensonSome Veterans Day ceremonies started early in Parkway. At North High yesterday, Major John Benson told students in Allison Ramsaroop’s English class  that he required all his new soldiers to read A Thousand Splendid Suns, the best-selling book about the tumultuous lives of two Afghan women. “You can’t understand another person unless you understand their culture,” he said. Major Benson is currently in St. Louis on leave, but is normally stationed outside Kabul. A former engineer, Benson once considered literature a waste of time. No longer. “I actually listened to A Thousand Splendid Suns on tape, because the narrator was from Afghanistan. The audio version helped me understand how to pronounce words correctly.”

Today, Josh Eckhoff, a South High grad, spoke to students at Southwest Middle, where he was a student just 12 years ago.  Spared from death in Iraq but still recovering from head injuries after an explosive hit his vehicle, Eckhoff told an assembly of students he was proud to serve his country and honored that teacher Jill Loyet invited him to speak.

Read about the events at Central Middle by clicking here and watch a heartwarming video of the students at Barretts Elementary honoring vets.