Second grade students at St. Patrick’s School posed for a photo on Sept. 5 while being honored for a photo they took last year as first-graders.

The students took a photo holding up purple hearts to recognize Month of the Military Child in April of last year.

The photo was submitted to the Iowa National Guard Child and Youth Program office in Johnston. Chris Cox, lead coordinator for the child and youth program, said a traveling trophy was created five years ago to go along with the Month of the Military Child.

Organizations and schools submit their photos and a winner is selected each year. St. Patrick’s Catholic School was selected as the winner of the traveling trophy for this school year.

“Some kids, their parents have to go away to a faraway place for a year. That’s a hard thing for a child to go through,” Cox said during the Sept. 5 presentation. “We wanted to say thank you to them. And you guys did an amazing job.”

He then presented the second grade students with the traveling trophy before taking a photo with them.

Cox added in a separate interview that there are around 10,000 military youth across the state. Three of those youth are students at St. Patrick’s Catholic School.

Tiernee, Kennedee and Charlee Cromwell’s father, Chris, is currently deployed with the National Guard. Their mom, Theresa, received a kit from the child and youth program for the school.

The kit, she said, had information and a bracelet for all of the kids.

“I handed it to all the teachers and Mrs. Weishaar kind of ran with it. And made it a huge deal for the classroom,” Theresa Cromwell said of Kay Weishaar.

Weishaar was the first grade teacher at St. Patrick’s last year. She retired in May after 20 years in the classroom. Kennedee Cromwell was one of her students last year.

“Every morning we would say prayers for Kennedee’s daddy,” Weishaar said.

She added that the photo contest for the Month of the Military Child was a good punctuation mark to the lesson on empathy, family and veterans.

“Isn’t that cool?” Weishaar said of the traveling trophy presented to the school and the students on Sept. 5.