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Press Release
May 02, 2002
Lake Oswego elementary students "Thank A Soldier," as part of special program
 
Salem, Ore. - More than 175 students from Uplands Elementary and Lake Grove Elementary schools in Lake Oswego and eight of their teachers will be recognized tomorrow afternoon, May 3, by a top official from the Oregon Air National Guard (ORANG) for their participation in a special project entitled Thank-A-Soldier.

The teachers and students from these schools wrote more than 180 patriotic thank you letters and drew pictures of American flags, tanks, jets, and other military themes in their heartfelt effort to connect with and support approximately 75 ORANG members currently deployed outside of Oregon. Most of the military members who received the letters are completing temporary duty assignments within the United States in support of Operation Noble Eagle's homeland defense initiatives or are serving overseas as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the worldwide effort to fight the war on terrorism.
 
The project was the brainchild of Bryan Green, a senior at Lake Oswego High School, and was created as part of the Political Action Seminar he's currently taking through the school. After requesting approval from the Department of Defense to proceed with the Thank-A-Soldier project, Green and five other students coordinated with teachers from Uplands and Lake Grove Elementary Schools and asked for assistance in writing letters of appreciation to military members who are deployed and away from their families.
 
"We wanted to do something meaningful for our country in the aftermath of 9/11 and we wanted to give our younger brothers and sisters an opportunity to do something meaningful as well," explained Green, leader of the project. "So we asked the kids to reach out and show their appreciation to members of Oregon's military who are fighting for us and our freedoms right now."
 
According to Maj. Donna Prigmore, ORANG public affairs officer, the letters were a welcome surprise to the Oregon Air National Guard men and women who received them, some of whom are currently serving as far away as the Afghanistan region.
 
Not surprising, some students offered heartfelt words of comfort such as this one:
 
Hello Friend,
My name is Paul. I just wanted to tell you, well, thanks for all you've done for my family and me. If you weren't in the Afghanistan region I would uhm...my family uhmm...everyone would be overcome. Even though I don't know who I'm writing to you feel very close to me in my heart.
Sincerely, Paul (a 4th grader)
 
Other students wrote letters that stirred a much-needed chuckle, such as this one:
 
Dear people of the USA,
You can win the war! Good luck! Please get Asamabenlaten because he's giving me the creeps.
From Andres
 
The kind words from Lake Oswego's youth touched the hearts of the many Air Guard members who received them. Although military members serve this great nation faithfully and dutifully, it is often difficult for them to be away from their homes and separated from family members. Receiving the letters of thanks helped bring smiles to their faces and joy to their days with the realization that someone back home indeed appreciates the work they do and the sacrifices they make to ensure America and its people remain free.
 
FRIDAY, MAY 3rd at 1:45pm (Special Presentation/Media Invited) All media are invited to Uplands Elementary School in Lake Oswego (2055 Wembley Park Rd). Brig. Gen. Wayne Green, chief of staff for the Oregon Air National Guard, will present the school with a special token of appreciation. Following the presentation at Uplands Elementary, he will then proceed to Lake Grove Elementary (15777 SW Boones Ferry Rd), for a similar presentation to honor and recognize the teachers and students there who also participated in the Thank-A-Soldier project.
 
 
Contact:
 
Major Donna Prigmore
 503-807-7082