RUSKIN, Fla. — It's not very often people get graced with the presence of Medal of Honor recipients. 

Students at Shield Middle School were honored with just that with a new program designed to show the importance of service and giving back to the community. 

The program works with teachers and lesson plans that illustrate and help students explore and understand qualities that were associated with the Medal of Honor, like courage, sacrifice, integrity, citizenship and patriotism. 

Shields Middle School in Ruskin has embraced the program and their teachers incorporated that in to their lesson plans daily.

On Monday, Medal of Honor recipient Gary Beikirch shared his Vietnam War experience with the students and hopes they take away two things. 

First, he hopes they choose to make a difference in the life of someone else. And second, what matters most are not the successes, but those moments of significance.

“A few years ago the Medal of Honor recipients felt that there was some tremendous and valuable things that we had in our stories because of our experience that should be passed on to a young generation," Beikirch said. "Lessons that we’ve learned about life. Things that were important to us that we felt would be beneficial to share with young people."

Shields Middle School students pose with Medal of Honor recipient Gary Beikirch
Angela Clooney, WTSP

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