MALONE, Fla. (WMBB) — Local Veteran Byron Dickens has teamed up with Jackson County School District to dedicate May as the first-ever ‘Freedom Month.’

“So much our schools have been tied down with you know just the basics of teaching language arts, mathematics, and standardized testing that we miss you know patriotism and American pride and freedom and understanding why it’s important,” Dickens said.

Dickens said he thought to himself ‘if there are events like homecoming week aimed to bring pride to the school, why not have freedom month where students can show pride for our country?’

The local Vet has made it his mission to visit all the Jackson County schools to instill patriotism.

This Friday he made his second stop at Malone School.

“If I can only get two things accomplished and that’s having you be a prideful American and you’re proud of this country and you thank somebody for their service, well guess what? I did my job,” Dickens said while speaking to Malone students.

Dickens also teaches kids why we celebrate holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day.

He said many adults don’t even know.

“It gives the kids an understanding of who serves, who gave the ultimate sacrifice and who’s fought and who’s benefitted from it.”

Dickens calls that the value of freedom. It’s what gives the people pride.

“History is very, very important moving forward and for them to understand and see the sacrifices that these people have made for their freedom,” School Board Member Charlotte Gardner said. “It will increase their awareness and make them proud to be an American.”

The school board members said they plan to observe ‘Freedom Month’ every year.