Troops Send Thank You Letters To Vancleave Students

Elementary students who sent care packages to the troops overseas have received letters of thanks from the grateful soldiers.

Children at Vancleave Upper and Lower Elementary schools read from some of the letters they've received from the soliders.

"I am more grateful than you will ever know. I know where the school is. I used to live there on Old River Road," said Jera Christian, reading from one of  many thank you notes.

The Vancleave students are proud of their overseas pen pals. They never expected such an outpouring of thanks.

Ariel Spence read one of the notes aloud in class.

"Dear students, thanks so very much. You all have made my day. Especially with today being my birthday," she said.

The soldiers are thanking their young friends for care packages. Vancleave students sent dozens of goodie boxes overseas during their "Treats for the Troops" project. Youngsters were somewhat surprised by the letters and E-mail the packages prompted.

"After receiving three packages from you, we set everything out on the table and everyone in the unit got something. Our joke was the exchange program now has competition thanks to you all," said Seth Watson, as he read from another letter.

Their teacher says the project has been beneficial to the troops and the students.

"They are taught patriotism and citizenship and they really just enjoy knowing that they're helping people out and they're giving back to their community. And their country," said Rhonda High.

Students also helped create a patriotic bulletin board in art class. The message is "United We Stand". It's a theme the youngsters better appreciate, thanks to special letters from grateful soldiers.

"Thank you so much for the wonderful treats that you have sent out to our soldiers. We are truly grateful for your support and the efforts to serve our country and protect all Americans against terrorism," said Emily Lambert, as she read a soldier's message.

The students are about to launch a new patriotic project. They're sending the troops colorful, home made postcards with pictures and personal messages.