Students at Village East Elementary got a heartfelt, red, white and blue thank you for supporting the soldiers of Task Force Observe, Detect, Identify and Neutralize (ODIN), an aviation unit that flies airplanes in support of combat operations in Afghanistan. The students, who wrote more than 300 letters to the soldiers during the 12-13 school year, received a certificate and a folded American flag that was flown over Afghanistan on May 8, 2013 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
“It is a tradition, as aviators, to show our gratitude by flying a flag in our aircraft during a mission and present it as a token of appreciation to family, friends, loved ones and organizations that support us while we are deployed,” wrote Commander Denny S. Hewitt in a letter of thanks to the students.
“Many of the soldiers in our unit are on their first tour of duty overseas while others are on their second, third and even fourth combat deployment which ultimately means being away from family, friends and loved ones for long periods of time,” continued Hewitt. “Your letters help ease the burden and emotions of being away from our loved ones and show the continued support for the men and women in uniform by the American public.”
Village East Principal Toby Arritola said writing letters to the troops was a good learning experience.
“The kids absolutely love it,” said Arritola. “It gives them an idea of what the troops do on a daily basis and a deeper appreciation of the sacrifices they make.”
Posted June 13, 2013.