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First Grade Letters to a Marine in Iraq; "I Hope You're Cozy in Your Tent!"

One of the students in my first grade class has a cousin who is a Marine, recently deployed to Iraq. I decided to make a "learning about writing letters" lesson very meaningful, by writing actual letters to this young Marine named Christopher.

My student's final drafts and pictures were amazing. The children asked Christopher great questions, such as, "How do you stay safe?" "Is it hard to carry all your stuff?" "Will you come and visit us when you get home?" They made poignant comments. "Thank you for keeping us safe." "Stay strong," and one little girl wrote, "I hope you're cozy in your tent!" They drew beautiful pictures to compliment their words.

About a month after I sent the letters we received a reply from Christopher. He "loved our letters and pictures" and shared them with all his buddies. He answered many of the children's questions, and promised to visit when he gets home in December.

He told the children that the letters reminded him of why his mission is so important, and that he will carry the letters with him until he returns home. As I read Christopher's heartfelt reply to my students, I realized just how much a simple letter from home means to a soldier in harm's way.

We all know family or friends who have a military connection. Wouldn't it be great if this Fourth of July your child wrote a note to a soldier, thanking him or her for protecting our independence? 
Imagine how wonderful it would be for the children of America to start a "grass roots" campaign, this Independence Day, to honor our service men and woman as the real heroes and role models they are!
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#2 laurie g 2009-07-07 19:24
Truly touched and inspired by your article...also great idea to keep children learning during summer months, too!
#1 Carol 2009-07-06 22:00
Great idea! Sounds like a special way for kids to learn about our world, other lifestyles and the military while developing their writing skills.

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