L.A Ainger Middle School history school teachers and students are honoring local veterans and listening to their experiences first-hand. Students have been learning about wars in their classes, so teachers wanted them to gain a deeper understanding of the sacrifices veterans made.

“It will give them great respect for people in the military, because it’s not that easy to leave your family and come back," teacher Cindy Galeone.

Georgianna Lingar was on the panel of veterans who shared their experiences with hundreds of students.

“Because I served during the Vietnam era and a woman, people didn’t believe I was in the military," said Lingar. "Then when they found out, they kind of shunned me.”

Although she faced harsh criticism for serving, Lingar says she’d do it all over again encourages other young women to join the military.

“The military knocks you down and rebuilds you back up into a strong person," said Lingar.

As Lingar and other Veterans shared their stories, students asked questions about their lives during and after the war and how serving has changed them.Each veteran stood as the official song of each branch of the military played. At the end of the event, students shook each veteran’s hand and thanked them for their service. Lingar left them with one special message.

“Be confident. Be proud and serve your country," said Lingar.