ODESSA, Texas — Colored veteran portraits, thank you notes, letters and uniformed photos lined the walls of the Hays STEAM Academy auditorium Friday morning, some decorated by staff and some by students. 

It was a special day for one student in particular, Aldin Mehicevic.

"I'm most excited that I get to spend more time with my dad cause I usually don't get to spend time with him and that I get to learn a little more about what he does and what he did in the military," Aldin said. 

His father Amir, born and raised in Bosnia, came to the United States in the mid 1990s for high school and joined the navy afterward for six years. He's lived in West Texas with his family for the past eight years. 

"It is nice to know that our service is not forgotten and that it's appreciated, and that people do appreciate what we did and all the sacrifices we made for ourselves, for the families and for the country," Amir Mehicevic said. 

It's also a special day for Hays STEAM Academy 2nd grader Grace Gibson and her grandfather. 

"I would like to say to him happy Veterans Day and you did a good job working in the air force," Grace said.

Teachers showed videos, books, and discussed characteristics of veterans throughout the past few weeks to prepare their pre-k through fifth-grade students for today. 

Why host such an event? Sparklight general manager David Williams said it best. 

It's all about connecting people with events that matter most to them, like this school bringing veterans together with their young students is what it's all about. 

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