107th firefighters meet pen pals
By Staff Sgt. Rebecca Kenyon, 107th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 29, 2008
NIAGARA FALLS ARS, N.Y. -- "Is it hot there?" "Are you afraid?" "Thank you for protecting us." These were just some of the words written by second grade students who wrote to 107th Airlift Wing firefighters while they were in Iraq, said Tech. Sgt. Robert Hull and Senior Airman Richard Wesser.
On May 28 the firefighters met their young pen pals from St. Christopher Elementary School in Tonawanda, N.Y. in person for the first time.
The students sent the deployed airmen letters, thank you cards, and drawings to Iraq. In return, the firefighters taught the second graders about another part of the world.
Correspondence between the firefighters and the students began when Senior Master Sgt. Douglas Winner's daughter Emma and her classmates adopted the airmen. Each deployed firefighter exchanged letters with two to six children.
Tech. Sgt. Hull, a fulltime middle school music teacher, said the letters meant a lot to him.
"I hope it meant a lot to them, I think it did," said Hull.
The technical sergeant said that through the letters the students were able to learn about the culture in Iraq. He added that students learned about similarities such as the love for soccer that some of the American students and the Iraqis share.
Master Sgt. Dave Wall, who served as an assistant fire chief in Baghdad said Emma sent a "Flat Stanley" to Iraq.
Flat Stanley was a laminated paper drawing of a person created by Emma and mailed to the master sergeant. The firefighters took pictures of Flat Stanley and then mailed it back to Emma with the photos and a letter to show the students where Flat Stanley visited.
107th AW firefighters returned home from Baghdad, Iraq in May.