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Soldier says ‘thank you’ to Fairland students

ROME TOWNSHIP — It was almost like sending a note in a bottle, except these notes went via the U.S. Mail. But the chance of getting back a response was as just as unexpected.

Yet it happened when 80 students of Fairland High English class of Anne Loshbough sent letters to members of the military serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. The letters accompanied care packages sent out by the Proctorville Woman’s Club before Christmas. Students in all the Fairland schools had brought in items such as hand cream and shampoo to participate with the woman’s club.

“I was trying to get them to think about people who were away for the holidays,” Loshbough said about the writing assignment. “To think of other people who are fighting for our rights. I want them to realize we are all in this together.”

A few days ago, a letter came unexpectedly to the high school from Sgt. Jake E. Robson with the U.S. Army Charlie Detachment in southeastern Afghanistan, near a town named Jalalabad.

However, the letter was addressed simply to “David,” and both David Green and David Woodyard had joined in the writing project.

“Some of my students had put their last names on and some didn’t, so both are claiming the letter,” Loshbough said.

Green, 17, wanted to be a part of the writing project to show his appreciation of the sacrifice American soldiers are making in that part of the world.

“I wanted to express that I was grateful for what they do overseas and that everyone shouldn’t take for granted their freedom,” he said. “It was really cool to get one back. He seemed appreciative. He was thankful for the Christmas package. He felt a sense of connection.”

The letter had a special impact for Woodyard, 16, because his brother, Paul Dustin Lawless, just came back from a tour in Fallujah, Iraq.

“I wanted to let him know that I thank him for what he is doing because I have a brother who is going through the same thing,” Woodyard said.

“He has told me stories so I know what he is going through.”