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Students preparing care packages for soldiers

TERI VANCE

Students at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School have not forgotten about the troops serving in Iraq.

“They’re risking their lives for our country,” said Jessica Kline, 10. “They’re really brave. Most of them have family back home but they’re still risking their lives.”

Students were reminded of the military’s service Friday when Capt. Keith Kamachi and Sgt. First Class Patrick Moore, both of the U.S. Army, visited their school.

Moore returned from Afghanistan last month and spoke with students about his service there. Kamachi told them about Kuwait, where he was stationed.

“It gives them a realistic view of the people who are back there and how purposeful our commitment is,” Moore said.

Kamachi said he hoped to increase optimism about the efforts to rebuild the war-torn country.

“I hope, more than anything, they were able to see we’re doing good things in Iraq,” he said. “It’s not as negative or as bleak as the media portrays.

“They see they can do things to help, too.”

And students are trying to help.

Substitute teacher Stephanie Matley is organizing a drive to collect supplies to be sent in care packages to troops in Iraq.

“It was something that I personally wanted to do because it’s the right thing to do,” she said. “Then I decided that if we did it as a school, it would make an even bigger impact on the troops and on the students.”

Karen Lucero, 10, wants to do her part to show her gratitude.

“I think it’s very nice of them to serve their country,” she said. “They take care of us so we won’t get hurt or anything.”

After their presentation, the soldiers opened the discussion for questions. Students quizzed them on everything to the kind of food they ate to the type of weapons they used.

“I learned how big grenades are and how small pistols are,” said Michael Lange, 9.

Siara Hassey, 9, said she gained a better understanding of the military’s objectives.

“I think it actually helped us understand what’s going on over there,” she said. “We think it’s all bad but it’s really not.”

Matley will be collecting items ranging from wet wipes and toothbrushes to gum and candy until Nov. 25.

You Can Help

If you want to donate items for the care packages or postage, call Stephanie Matley at 884-4245.