Soldier's Surprise Visit

By: A.J. Hilton Email
By: A.J. Hilton Email

It started off as a normal day for third grader Jason Arbour. The morning began with class, then it was lunch, and finally outside to play for recess. His afternoon turned into something he could have only dreamed about.

"When I saw my brother-in-law come in, I was happy," said Arbour. "I almost cried."

Specialist Joshua Griffin has served in Iraq since July of last year, and is home for just two weeks. Jason's third grade class at Delta Center Elementary has been writing letters to him since the fall of last year.

"I thought, 'hey, that would be a great connection,' " said Third Grade Teacher Jennifer Poplar. "I really try hard for my kids to do writing experiences with people that have life experience."

"I got this package one day from the class," said Specialist Griffin. "I opened it up and they had sent a bunch of letters and drawings...pictures of the class, questions and it kinda hit me really hard. You just realize that it's kinda lonely."

Answering questions both through letters and in the classroom proved to be a way for Griffin to escape reality around him.

"It gets your mind off the day-to-day things that you really have to worry about," said Specialist Griffin. "You know if everybody is going to be alright, you know looking after each other."

You can tell Mrs. Poplar's third grade class will be looking after Specialist Griffin when he heads back overseas.

"It will be something that they'll remember from the third grade," said Poplar. "Definitely be a memorable experience for them."


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