Airman surprises Vancleave elementary student with gift

VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - A Vancleave Lower Elementary student received a big surprise after writing a letter of gratitude to a South MS Air Force pilot serving in Afghanistan. And the seven-year-old couldn't be more excited.

Teacher Karen Reeves came up with the idea around Christmas for her class to write thank you letters to a local group stationed in Afghanistan. Student Olyvya Tozer loved the idea and wasted no time writing.

"10 minutes," Tozer said.

"We know the holidays are tough for them, so we wrote letters to them and we wanted to cheer them up. The letter that she wrote went to Christopher Silko, who is an Air Force pilot," Reeves said.

In Olyvya's letter, she asked the pilot about what he likes and, of course, the job. She also made sure to tell him all about herself.

"Dear soldier, I am seven-years-old. My favorite food was pizza. My favorite color is pink. And in school my favorite thing is reading and math. I do like language, but I didn't put language in the letter," Tozer said.

The letter had such a huge impact on the pilot that he mailed her back a surprise package from thousands of miles away.

"He thought enough of her letter and enough of her to reply with a sweet personable letter, a certificate of authenticity and a flag that he flew on his airplane on a mission especially in her honor."

Olyvya's best friend and classmate was also there to celebrate the surprise.

"I think it is pretty cool she got a letter and a flag from a soldier," student Brynn Steele said.

For all the other men and women still fighting to protect our country, the two best buds shared this heartfelt message.

"We thank the military for keeping us safe."

Olyvya has also learned even more facts about the American Flag since getting the gift, including how to properly fold the flag.

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