WWII Hero's Story Made for the Classroom

Fighter ace and immigrant represents the American dream to a new generation

The Mettle Behind the Merit - the Steve Pisanos Story

​​​​​​The Distinguished Flying Cross Society and award winning series, “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” announces the availability of an Educator’s Kit as a classroom companion to the award-winning OGTA episode, “The Mettle Behind the Merit - the Steve Pisanos Story.”

The film describes the miraculous life-journey behind Steve Pisanos, a Depression-era immigrant who, in spite of poverty, lack of citizenship and war, rose to exemplify the diversity and determination of what many call “The American Dream.”

The Educator’s Kit is available for middle-to-high school educators in public school, private school, home school and other youth-focused leadership groups such as Scouts, DECA, CAP and Jr. ROTC to use with their students in teaching American history, social studies and civics curriculum.

The Educator’s Kit is distributed on the Distinguished Flying Cross Society’s website, https://www.dfcsociety.org/pages/educators-kit free of charge. The kit comprises four components and is designed to be used in-whole and in-part to accompany the individual teacher’s needs. The Educator’s Kit page also contains the full-length, 20-minute film. 

“The Educator’s Kit is designed to provide a teacher excellent information that can be used as they see best,” stated DFC Society chairman Bruce Huffman. “The goal is to inspire students based upon real, documented acts of character and performance.”

Artist and filmmaker John Mollison produced the film with the Educator’s Kit in-mind. “History is not just about names, dates and places,” stated Mollison. “History is about people in all of our complexities and variation. Very few of us ever get to wear the badge of Hero but the qualities that support heroic actions are available to us all.”

For information on the Distinguished Flying Cross Society (DFCS)

The Distinguished Flying Cross Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining the history and stories of recipients of America’s fourth-highest award for meritorious action in flight. The DFCS has approximately 3,000 members that comprise the service of outstanding moments in military and civilian flight.   

Contact: Bruce Huffman, bhuffman@dfcsociety.org, 518-578-7089

For information on the Educator’s Kit or Old Guys and Their Airplanes (OGTA)

John Mollison is an accomplished aviation artist, writer and filmmaker who’s work has been distributed in museums, galleries, private collections, social media worldwide and American PBS affiliates. John is also the Communications Director of the South Dakota Air & Space Museum.

Contact: John Mollison, john@johnmollison.com, 605-261-6070

Want a distinguished veteran to come to your classroom or group?

The Distinguished Flying Cross Society represents all walks of life and all branches of American military service. If you would like to have one of their members come to your classroom or group, the DFCS will put you in contact with a local representative.

Contact: Marty Lenzini, mlenzini@dfcsociety.org, 520-275-7928

Source: Old Guys and Their Airplanes

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Categories: Educational News

Tags: Film, History, Teachers, WWII


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Old Guys and Their Airplanes is an award winning production team that focuses on bringing historically significant stories into minds and classrooms, worldwide.

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