VALENCIA – What started as a simple letter to troops in Kuwait last year turned into a special Veterans Day celebration for Pinecrest Elementary School pupils. A flag used in their assembly Thursday was hung in honor of the private school over Camp Buehring in Kuwait in May after some pupils sent the troops equipment for their tae kwon do class. Fourth- and fifth-graders – sporting red, white and blue clothes in honor of the day – thumbed through the certificates of appreciation Thursday also sent from Sgt. Maj. Mark Massaglia at the base. “That was really cool,” said Isabella Del Mese, 11, about the flag and certificates. “I didn’t expect that.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Isabella and others on the student council last year first contacted the troops after their club adviser, Judy James, learned of the tae kwon do club one day while online. Troops had started the club as a morale booster and to stay in shape, but didn’t have any protective equipment for their activities. That’s when the school club, which often participates in food and toy drives, put the military at the top of its list. Through raffles and bake sales, pupils raised about $150 and bought kick pads, chest protectors and energy bars for the troops. They mailed the package in the spring. When troops responded with letters and the flag, pupils were ecstatic, James said. “It was nice to do something for other people, especially the military for what they’re doing for our country,” said Connor Russell, 11. The flag was saved for Veterans Day. At the school ceremony Thursday, pupils waved small American flags after singing “America the Beautiful.” Nearby was an assignment by third-graders, who wrote words that describe veterans. Words such as “valor,” “praise” and “respect” dotted the wall. Fifth-grader Sarah Dixon got into the spirit with a stars-and-stripes headband and blue shirt with red flowers. She took a patriotic-looking bandanna and wrapped it around her waist as a belt. “This morning I was thinking of how I could dress for Veterans Day,” she said. “I know two veterans.” Sue Doyle, (661) [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!