Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, May 16, 2003

A soldier thanks a class of fifth graders who wrote to his unit while in Kuwait.

He sat in the front row of the church gym, hands clasped, lips pursed, his body rigid and erect. On each side of him were elementary school students in their caps and gowns, ready to graduate from the First Missionary Baptist Church Child Development Center and Academy in northwest Huntsville.

He was here in his dress uniform Thursday night, just in from Ft. Riley, Kansas, to thank the fifth-graders who had written him and the other members of the 95th Maintenance Company.

He was the leader of the company's team of three sergeants and three specialists, a 42-year-old native of Hattiesburg, Miss., named David Chapman. He and the other soldiers had read the fifth-graders' letters two weeks before Christmas, just as the impact of being overseas for the holidays had taken hold.

Chapman, a sergeant, had hoped to be in Hattiesburg for the holidays. But as the fifth-graders' letters arrived from Huntsville around mid-December, it was apparent that no one in the 95th Maintenance Company was leaving Kuwait.

The effect of those letters was detailed Thursday night in Chapman's surprise presentation to each of the 10 fifth-graders. In thank-you letters to the class of seven boys and three girls, Chapman and the other members of the company wrote:

"We were all feeling really sad and blue because of the situation and the fact that we would not be with our families in time of celebration. To receive and read these letters from the youth of our nation expressing their thanks for what we were all doing was a super positive motivating experience and totally renewed our faith and belief in what we are doing and in God."

< email | 5/16/2003 04:00:00 PM | link

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