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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Danielle Location: Griffin on Jun 22, 2007 at 08:01 PM
    I love the job that you were able to do with my husband and brothers story!! We got calls all day and night all around Michigan saying they saw him!! :) Thank you guys so much!! If there is a way to get a copy, please let me know also. -
  • by Soldier's Surprise Visit Location: Delta Center Elementary on May 21, 2007 at 07:29 PM
    Any remote possiblilty that you'd be able to send us a video clip of Josh being at the school with the children...He is my nephew, and I will be unable to visit with him while he's home, his wife (my neice in law) sent me the article and my sister in law (Josh's Mom) also missed seeing it on the news. Thank you kindly for your time! Beth Garrow
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