WATCH: Navy Veteran & Teacher of Nearly 40 Years Surprised by His Students

Posted: Nov 10, 2017 9:15 PM

Crestview Elementary physical education teacher Mark Haeslyhas spent his entire adult life serving his country. Haesly served his fellow countrymen in the Navy from 1974-1980. Upon return from service, Haesly picked up teaching physical education to elementary school kids. 

By all accounts, Haesly served honorably and as a role model to countless boys and girls for nearly 37 years in teaching. The past 21 of these years have been at Crestview Elementary, in Cottage Grove, MN. However, the 2017-2018 school year will be his last year teaching. The Navy veteran is retiring at the end of this academic year.

To show their appreciation not just for his gym class, but also for his dedication to America, his colleagues and students rolled out the red carpet - literally - in a surprise celebration. 

Haesly was led to a red carpet that he walked down as the students stood around him clapping and cheering.

"It's one of the best things that's happened in my life," he said.

Haesly is clearly a humble man, most of his students hadn’t even realized he served in the Navy. 

“Most kids in the school didn't know about his military background before the ceremony, and he said it was "overwhelming" to see them all cheering and clapping for him.

“Students also presented him with a painting of an American flag they had created by each student placing a fingerprint on it.”

To Mr. Haesly and the four other veterans honored at this event, thank you for your service. Happy Veterans Day. The celebration can be seen below.

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