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Wauka Mountain students give thanks, gifts to US soldiers

POSTED: December 2, 2008 5:00 a.m.

In celebration of Thanksgiving, Wauka Mountain Elementary School students are writing U.S. soldiers to thank them for preserving our freedom.

Along with snack cakes, magazines and canned goods, students are sending thank you notes to the 65th Military Police Company out of Fort Bragg, N.C.

The policemen have been stationed about two hours outside of Baghdad since December 2007. Since January, Wauka Mountain Elementary School students have gathered and mailed soldiers more than 50 care packages, which contain snacks, batteries and items to keep them entertained on long night watches.

Theresa Barrett, a speech pathologist at Wauka Mountain Elementary School, said students have also collected more than $200 for package postage.

Barrett said a personal friend of hers was a former leader of the 65th out of Fort Bragg, which led her to initiate the care package program at Wauka Mountain Elementary.

"I just think it’s really important (students) be aware of what patriotism is and sacrifice," she said.

"It’s perfect for Thanksgiving," Barrett said of the care package program. "These men and women are over there protecting our freedom, but they can’t go to the store and buy the luxuries we have here."

Roughly 500 students at the elementary school have donated what they can, ranging from a few quarters for postage to packages of popcorn.

Julia Truelove, a fifth-grader at Wauka Mountain Elementary, said she believes the care package program has made students more aware of the sacrifices soldiers make in order to serve our country in the armed forces.

"I think it would be really hard to be away in some other place and for your kids to be far away on the other side of the world," she said. "I’m thankful that they are fighting for us, because if they weren’t fighting for us, then we wouldn’t be living a free life."



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