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Flint Hill students get special gift from soldiers

Students at Flint Hill Elementary School wrote letters to soldiers in Afghanistan earlier this school year. To their surprise, the soldiers wrote back to them and also flew a flag in their honor. They also sent the school the flag, and now students are preparing to send care packages to the soldiers. Staff Photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith

Students at Flint Hill Elementary School wrote letters to soldiers in Afghanistan earlier this school year. To their surprise, the soldiers wrote back to them and also flew a flag in their honor. They also sent the school the flag, and now students are preparing to send care packages to the soldiers. Staff Photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith

COVINGTON -- All it took was a friendly letter, and students at Flint Hill Elementary School received a special American flag in return.

In September, kindergarten students at the school were learning about writing a friendly letter as part of their curriculum studies. The students, along with other students in the school, wrote Capt. Rodney Burks and his squadron, who were serving in Afghanistan.

Burks and some others ended up writing back to them, telling students about the climate and base living and sending pictures. Burks also told them how it raises their morale to get letters and pictures from kids.

"The students were so excited to get a letter from them," said kindergarten teacher Susan Fowler.

On March 1, soldiers flew a flag over Camp Bastion Airfield at the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 40 in Helmand Providence, Afghanistan in honor of the school and sent the flag to Fowler's class along with a certificate indicating that it was flown in their honor.

"(The students) thought it was so cool to see how it was folded. Most of them had never seen a flag folded like that," Fowler said.

Flint Hill now is gathering items like fruit snacks, gum, socks, bottled water flavor packets and Band-Aids to send to the squadron.

"This helps the students make a connection from what they are learning in school to a real-life situation, as well as showing the students how they can help make a difference to someone else," Fowler said. "I just feel so completely honored that they are thinking of us and doing nice things for us, when we are the ones that should be doing everything we can for them."