Craig Middle School students write to soldiers overseas

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Some are in favor of the war in Iraq and some are opposed to it, but everyone supports the United States soldiers overseas.

Sound familiar?

The letters posted on a bulletin board at Craig Middle School reflect the ideas and feelings of adults throughout the United States. But they are written by local seventh and eighth graders.

A bulletin board is filled with letters to soldiers in the school's main hallway, all written by students in David Morris' language arts classes.

Some of the letters reflect the fear of students for the soldiers putting their lives in danger.

"Even though I don't know who you are, I pray for you every night that God will protect you and bring you home to the U.S. safely," one letter reads.

Some are more personal.

"A friend of my mom's has a son over there," another student wrote. "He is putting together black hawk and other helicopters. We are scared for him. He got shipped over because the last crew got bombed. (We hope it doesn't happen again)"

And some of the letters offered an opinion.

"Even though I don't support the war, I do support our troops and the people serving over there."

But almost every letter contained a passage that read something to the effect of "I'm really glad you guys are over there," or "I hope you guys get Saddam and get out safely."

Eighth grader Kellie Jorgensen was one of the students who wrote a letter.

She said she wanted her letter to be a morale booster for the soldier who received it.

"I wrote, "Thank you for serving our country," and told a little bit about myself to make them happy and get their mind off of the war for a couple of minutes," she said.

She said she's thankful the troops are over there.

"It's scary but if we can stop any danger from happening, it's a good thing," she said.

Eighth grader Emily Kirk wrote a letter to a family friend named Luke serving overseas.

He's getting married soon, she said, and she told him how excited she was for him in her letter.

She doesn't like the idea of Luke being at war.

"I don't agree with it," she said of the war. "Every time I watch the news with my family, I'm like, 'Luke's there.' Why does he have to be there?"

Eighth grader Jessica Snowden said she tried to tell a soldier about herself and her life in Craig.

"I told them if they see one of my friends and a second cousin

to say 'hi' if they see them," she

said.

"It will get them off the war subject for awhile and they can see what it's like back in their country," she said of the letter.

Morris said he was impressed with the letters his students wrote.

"I encouraged them to be very positive no matter what their feelings about the war are," he said. "We wanted to make someone feel better in a difficult situation."

He wasn't surprised at the different opinions expressed in the letters.

"In the seventh and eighth grade, they start to learn to think critically," he said. "You can see that in some of these letters."

Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or jnichols@craigdailypress.com.

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