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After Return from Deployment, Malvern Assistant Principal Gilbert Salinas Joins Students in Honoring Fellow Veterans

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Friday, November 10, 2017

McKinney, Texas – At schools all across McKinney ISD today, students and staff took time to honor veterans in an outpouring of gratitude for their service.

Perhaps one of the more poignant assemblies took place at Malvern Elementary where beloved Assistant Principal Gilbert Salinas was both a participant in their student-led program to honor veterans—and an honoree as well.

Cadets holding flags and ceremonial rifles in front of school assembly

Members of the McKinney High School Marine Corps JROTC unit present the colors at the Malvern Elementary Veterans Day program.

Not long after moving from his position as a bilingual teacher at Slaughter Elementary to the assistant principal job at Malvern in the fall of 2017, Salinas was called up for a six-month Air Force deployment to Africa.

So, for Salinas—who returned just in time to prepare for the start of the 2017-2018 school year—the opportunity to meet and honor other veterans who are part of the Malvern community held special meaning. And, he was quick to offer heartfelt thanks to those who lent support to his family in his absence.

Tight shot of Salinas speaking with a microphone in hand.

Malvern Elementary assistant principal and Air Force veteran Gilbert Salinas addresses the assembled students and guests to thank the veterans in the Malvern community for their service.

“I think it’s just a privilege getting to come back,” Salinas said. “In the Air Force, we have three core values: Integrity, Service Before Self and Excellence in All You Do. And, that Service Before Self not only applies to the veteran but also to the community that supports him.

“On Veterans Day, we honor the person that was deployed, but there is a big community behind that veteran who supports their family while they’re overseas. Getting to share this day with Malvern, who was my family helping my family while I was deployed…It’s such a beautiful thing,” he said.

“It’s a privilege getting to share the stage with other veterans as well and thank them for their service because while you’re overseas, you’re working alongside Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, Army—you’re all there. So, getting to shake the hands of all those service members that were before me and that are going to be continuing after me is just such a privilege and such an emotional day for all of us.”

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