Soldier Visits Adopted Third Graders - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

1/5/05-Longview

Soldier Visits Adopted Third Graders

After 9 months of duty in Iraq,  Staff Sergeant Steven King is back home in Longview over the holidays, and today paid a special visit to South Ward elementary schools 3rd grade class. A class that adopted him.

"It felt good to meet the kids who were sending me things, felt good that they were so interested in my life in the army" says King.

It started a year ago when teacher Janice Preston brought Stevens name up to students in her class.

"One of them said can we write him? and i said sure, another said can we send him something, and i said lets do a survey and find out what soldiers are in need of in Iraq" says Preston.

Soon care packages began to arrive in Iraq, with everything the kids thought the soldier should have.

"We sent some toothpaste, a toothbrush, some kool-aid and other things" said 3rd grader Willie Rodgers.

The 8 year army veteran had a show and tell segment and took questions from the kids. And he was impressed with some very mature questions from a young crowd on his fallen comrades, and the fear of combat.

"I was surprised by the questions they asked, because they were on a higher level" says King.

"They see heroes like Michael Jordan and shaq, but to see a U-S soldier that's away fighting for our country and for them to see him in person was truly a blessing" Preston says.

After meeting his biggest fans, King will go back to Iraq with a new sense of what he's fighting for.

"It gave me encouragement to meet the kids and also motivates me to go back and to do my job even better knowing that they are behind me" the soldier says.

King will return to duty in Iraq in a few days, but hopes to be rotated back state-side in April. He says the gift packages from the kids , have been priceless! Bob Hallmark reporting.

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