Seaman visits elementary students

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 7, 2023

Students had written letters to Wright on Veteran’s Day

PORTSMOUTH – Students in Polly Bowman’s second-grade classroom at Portsmouth Elementary School gave a big, warm welcome to U.S. Navy AOAN Autumn Wright E-3. She visited the school on Wednesday to thank the students for writing letters to her on Veteran’s Day.

“Autumn was deployed and on Veteran’s Day we decided to write letters to her,” Bowman said. “I showed the class pictures that she had shared on Facebook of her ship and her job and what she does. So we wrote letters to her and her mother sent them to her.” 

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In their letters, kids asked questions about what it was like being a sailor and living on the ship.

“The kids were very excited to hear she would be coming today. The feeling of patriotism took over and they started chanting ‘U-S-A!’ We let the kids color pictures of the United States and I decorated the classroom.”

Wright graduated from Portsmouth High School in May 2021 and joined the Navy in July of that same year. She served aboard the USS George H.W. Bush supercarrier. She said she really enjoyed receiving the letters from students.

“When I opened them up, I thought it was the sweetest thing. I showed my co-workers and we hung them up in the workshop,” she said. “In their letters they said they were thankful and very proud of everybody serving their country. It means a lot to us when we’re out to sea and everyone is far away from their own children and families.”

She said it was an honor to go back to visit students at Portsmouth.

“Without the courses I had at this school, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today,” she said.

For more information about Portsmouth City Schools, visit them online at, or follow the school’s page on Facebook.