Armstrong Elementary honors veterans
It's hot in Iraq, Maj. Noelle Racette told the students at Armstrong Elementary School.
"If you can take a handful of sand and mix it with talcum powder and take a hair dryer and blow it into your face, that's what it's like living in Iraq," she told the audience.
Racette shared her experiences at the Nov. 8 Veterans Day observance at the school. She described her job in military intelligence as "trying to think like the enemy."
Students got to pass around a chunk of plaster from a palace that was built by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
"I got some pieces after some Air Force bombers came through and turned ceiling into floor," she said.
Students Max Kaplan and Owen Corkish read poems they had composed for Veterans Day. Kaplan also got to wear a helmet, flak vest and other combat gear that Racette put on him to show students what she had to wear in Iraq.
Racette is commander of the Minnesota National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, a joint Army and Air National Guard command in St. Paul.
Speakers also included Navy Veteran Seaman E-3 Laura Cloose of Cottage Grove. Gus Riva, 96, was among the veterans honored at the ceremony. Riva served in the Marine Corps in World War II.