H.O.P.E. Center summer camp teaches students about patriotism

Calvin kids' dad, William, in Afghanistan
Calvin kids' dad, William, in Afghanistan
Calvin kids at camp
Calvin kids at camp

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's difficult for many to see the images and hear the latest news from the frontline, but for children with a parent fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq, it's real.

Ten-year-old Jasmine Calvin and her older brother Jaylon are participating in the H.O.P.E. Center's summer camp. Their father, William, is deployed with the Army to Afghanistan. The kids spent the day learning about patriotism. "Afghanistan is trying to kill all the bad people who aren't supposed to be doing stuff to our country and helping other people," said Jasmine Calvin, whose dad is overseas.

First, they reviewed the issues, then candidates from both parties who are making a run in 2012. The Debate became lively when campers acted out presidential candidates in the next election.

Through the activities, camp leaders hope to spark an interest in politics and caring about our nation.

While most adults may say jobs and the economy are the primary issues, Jaylon is only concerned with bringing the troops home. "They need to bring home our Dad back really quick," said Jaylon.

While he and his sister wait for their dad's return, they try to keep in touch by phone. "He loves us and [said] that he's coming home soon," said Jasmine. "[He] tells us everything that's going on down there and tells us about stories that happen to little kids," said Jaylon.

Those stories have helped him realize how lucky he is to be an American.

Jasmine wishes her friends would learn more about what's really happening to American soldiers. "Don't talk bad about people in the Army because they're fighting for you."

A sacrifice that truly defines patriotism is a lesson that will always be close to home.

Jasmine and Jaylon Calvin say their dad should be home in November. This is his third deployment as an Army Sergeant.

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