I was reading Vodkamom's latest blog post about her class making thank you cards and sending them to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It brought back a vivid memory from 19 years ago.
My oldest daughter, Gina was in first grade, and she told her teacher that her Uncle Jimmy was in the war (the First Gulf War aka Operation Desert Storm). My brother, Jimmy was a Marine (well, you know, once a Marine, always a Marine!) and his unit was sent over to Saudi Arabia. Jimmy was one of the guys who drove the supplies to the front in Kuwait. He did not see combat... at least I don't think he did.
Gina's teacher, Mrs. E (who looked just like Snow White!) thought it would be fun for the kids to make cards and letters and send them to him in a big manila envelope. Jimmy LOVED getting the cards and all his buddies enjoyed them immensely!
When Jimmy came home from the Gulf, he went to visit Gina's class. I brought him to school just after 1st and 2nd grade lunch. Jimmy was in his desert fatigues (now they call them BDUs... battle dress uniforms). We pulled into the parking lot/ kids' school yard while the 1st and 2nd grades were having their after lunch recess.
We got out of the car, and the entire school yard stopped dead and there was instant silence!! Then, this one little boy, Michael B came charging up to Jimmy and flung his arms around Jimmy's legs and would not let go for anything! (gosh! I still get teary-eyed just thinking about it!)
We finally got Michael unattached from Jimmy's legs and we went into the classroom. Jimmy brought his gas mask with him along with a few other momentos and all the kids got to try the gas mask on. Of course, a lot of the boys were asking if Jimmy ever killed anyone or shot his gun.
All in all, it was really good day! Jimmy was the hero of St. Aloysius School that day (too bad the local newspaper didn't know we were coming. I'm sure they would have sent a photographer over) The kids were so impressed that a real live soldier had come to visit them! And Jimmy thought Mrs. E was totally hot! LOL