Iwo Jima veterans share stories with students

Grace Baptist Academy students started with a book on World War II, then went digital and on Thursday got to hear about the real thing.

Students in Jessica Box's 10th-grade English class were assigned the book "Flags of Our Fathers" as summer reading before the start of this school year.

The class then created Facebook pages for each of the six men in the iconic photo of the Iwo Jima flag-raising on Mount Suribachi during World War II.

On Thursday, local Iwo Jima veterans Bill Allen and Paul George visited the academy to share their war stories with more than 300 students. The men fought in the battle but are not in the photo.

George, a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant, served aboard transport ships that hauled Marines and ferried supplies to the island throughout the battle, which took place in February and March of 1945.