Holding what looked like a strap into the air, Lt. Col. Frank Walton stood in front of an excited group of St. Louis School students, and asked them what they thought it was.
Immediately a half dozen eager students shot up their hands with an answer.
"Is it a belt?" asked one.
"Do you wear it on your head?" asked another.
Then came the explanation; it was a tourniquet.
"This has saved more soldiers’ lives than just about anything else," Walton said, silencing his adoring crowd. He then went on to show how it works.
Walton's demonstration was part of the school's Veterans Day celebrations.
During the event, four members of the military, who are also parents at the school, became teachers for the day, explaining everything from how to use the phonetic alphabet to how to put on a bullet proof vest. Also on hand were the service members' families.
"It’s really important to us to show the face of the families so our students can appreciate not only the men and women of the Armed Forces but also the families that stand behind them," said Colleen Craig, the school's director of development.
Beth Wright, a veteran and a mother of a St. Louis School Student, was one of the service members who helped out during the event. Her job was to explain to students about MREs, which are pre-packaged, ready-to-eat meals that soldiers sometimes eat.
She said that the event was important to her because it helped students understand the reality of being in the Armed Forces.
"It helps to expose them to a little slice of what the military is all about," Wright said.
As a token of appreciation to those members of the military who were on hand to help out, students presented them with baskets of goodie bags to bring back to their bases to send overseas.
"This is truly a thank you from our entire community," Craig explained.
This article has been edited to indicate the source of the quotes about MREs was Beth Wright.