Substitute teacher Donald Hallock (left) presented American flags and plaques to each of the Fennville Public Schools’ principals (from left) high school principal Jim Greydanus, elementary school principal Albert Lombard and middle school principal Kim Zdybel at a veterans’ assembly Wednesday, Nov. 12.

Fennville district receives flags from Afghanistan

Kayla Deneau, Staff Writer

A substitute teacher for Fennville Public Schools honored the country’s military by donating three American flags to the district—one for each school—on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at the middle and high schools’ Veterans Day assembly.

Donald Hallock presented each school’s principal with a flag and a plaque commemorating each flag.

The flags were sent to Hallock by his son Stephen Hallock who is currently serving with the U.S. Navy as a Seabee in Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 25. All three flags flew over the air force base he is currently stationed at in Bagram, Afghanistan,  on his birthday, Aug. 21.

Hallock said he tried to enlist in the military when he was younger. He was denied and was never given an official reason why.

“When I was younger, we had those posters of Uncle Sam everywhere saying ‘I want you,’” said Hallock. “I guess Uncle Sam didn’t want me.”

He and his wife formerly worked in China for four years teaching English for the Chinese government. Hallock said while he loved living and working in China, he has never felt more patriotic than since he returned home.

He said he often incorporates what he learned about China’s culture into his lessons while substitute teaching.

Hallock said he chose to give the flags to the schools because he has a lot of respect for each of the three principals and he enjoys working with all the staff and students.

“I have flags from my son and have given them to a few others. Basically I gave them to the districts because I can,” he said.

Hallock lives in South Haven but substitute teaches for Fennville and sometimes Allegan Public Schools five days a week.

“This is more than a job to me; I do this because I like what I do,” he said. “I appreciate that the staff, and students always seem happy to see me and I am always glad to see them.

“Hopefully, when they see the flags flying over the schools they will remember that.”


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