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 Post subject: Special holiday greetings to our troops
Post Posted: Nov 21, 2006 8:34 am 
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?Dear American soldier? was the phrase that began each greeting card in first-grade teacher Jessy Pfeifer?s class at Pomona Elementary School. For the past three years, Pfeifer?s students have been writing letters, making cards and various holiday crafts for soldiers in Iraq.

This year, they are writing enough letters for an entire platoon of 55 troops.

The project ?helps them cope with and understand what?s going on? with the war, Pfeifer said.

?They?re fighting to protect our country so we can be free,? 6-year-old Paige Gordon said with gumption. ?And they?re doing the best they can.?

She said she imagined the troops would be lonely ?far away from home? and without their friends.

On the front of Gordan?s card was a pencil and crayon rendition of Santa Claus, his reindeer and multiple Christmas trees.

The soldiers have responded with stories including a Hummer ride in sweltering desert heat and getting to sit in ?Saddam?s chairs.?

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Donald Coultier was so moved by the students? work, he sent them a shadow box with his service medals and an American flag. The box is part of the class? bulletin board display titled ?Our Soldiers.?

Coultier, who is stationed with the 447th Expeditionary Communications Squadron, wrote the kids a letter telling them that without their support, he wouldn?t have made it, Pfeifer said.

Another soldier named Emilio wrote to the class: ?On my trip I learned that the military isn?t about shooting at people or blowing things up, they spend a lot of time helping people and (ensuring) their safety.?

Savannah Balint, 6, wanted to know how the troops will celebrate the holidays in Iraq.

?Are you going skiing?? she wrote.

Pfeifer said writing to the troops is also a good way for her students to practice handwriting, spelling words and letter-writing skills.


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