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Grade 1: Veteran Visitor

Students in Mrs. Malyszko’s class learned all about life inside a submarine from a special Veterans Day guest, Navy veteran Michael Kolodner. Zooming in from his home in New Hampshire, Mr. Kolodner described his 9+ years of Navy service and answered questions from students and teachers.
Is there a height limit for sailors on a submarine? No, but the tall ones bang their heads a lot because the hatches that you walk through are really small.
 
Where you ever injured? Yes, but it’s kind of an embarrassing story! When you are underwater inside a submarine for a very long time, your skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight. I got a very bad sunburn while standing on top of the submarine.
 
What was your uniform like? Because we were underwater and not interacting with anyone outside our submarine, we could almost wear whatever we wanted. Mostly we wore baggy, zip up, one piece jumpsuits. We called them “poopy suits” because the bottom was saggy and made it look like we pooped our pants! We also wore sneakers to make sure we were as quiet as possible inside the sub. Sound travels quickly and really far underwater and we wanted to stay undetected by other submarines.
 
What was your favorite part of serving in the Navy? Driving submarines underwater and on the surface was a really cool experience. I liked being the first one to open the hatch and standing alone on the top of the sub with no one else in sight. Once, there was a group of Orca whales surrounding the submarine and I had the sight all to myself.
 
Why did you join the Navy? I joined because I’m thankful for our country and I wanted to do something nice for America and for the people I care about.
 
Special thanks to the Kolodner family for joining our first graders on Veterans Day!
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Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.