Mapae Grant: One Horse – Kimberly Heckart

Veterans Day Ceremony

Organized by Kimberly Heckart, Prairie Ridge Elementary hosted a Veterans Day ceremony featuring speaker Ray “Bubba” Sorensen.

Inspiring Students and Veterans

Ray “Bubba” Sorensen inspired 150 veterans from all branches of the military and 500 students as he shared his life mission of telling veteran stories through his mural paintings on Freedom Rocks in all 99 counties of Iowa. Currently working on the 80th rock, Sorensen spoke of his vision to create a Freedom Rock in each county of Iowa. He highlighted Iowan and Korean War Veteran, Master Sergeant D. Gerald Johnson, the recipient of the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. His story, painted on the Decatur County Freedom Rock (not pictured), elicits D. Gerald Johnson’s grit, courage, and bravery.

Offering Thanks

Students, staff, veterans and guests were mesmerized by Ray “Bubba” Sorensen’s message of freedom not being free and the importance of recognizing stories of those who sacrificed for their country. Students sang Your Sacrifice Will Not Be Forgotten to thank the veterans.


“It was an amazing day of honor, valor, and merit!”

-Kimberly Heckart