By William Thompson: Quay County Sun
Some U.S. troops in Iraq will soon be receiving care packages from Tucumcari Middle School students. About 90 students in Louise Ayres’ sixth-grade social studies classes began gathering goodies in mid-April.
“We were doing a unit on wars involving the U.S. and I thought we needed to keep our troops’ spirits up,” said Ayres. “The students brought in about 1,000 items including personal hygiene items, food items and games like crossword puzzles and playing cards.”
Boxes were shipped to Iraq Tuesday and today. Dalton Wood said his parents helped him purchase some candy to send to the soldiers.
“I went out and got some Lemonheads and Jolly Ranchers for the soldiers,” Wood said. “I think the soldiers who get them will be happier. The soldiers are there for the freedom of the Iraqi people.”
Nikki Ramirez sent jalapeno pepper seeds and Tic-Tac candies.
“It makes me feel good to send something to the troops,” Ramirez said.
Tylor Nunez thought of the desert heat in Iraq when he chose the items he sent.
“I got the soldiers some little soaps,” Nunez said. “The soaps will help them stay clean in the hot weather.”
Sara Enriquez sent soaps and shampoos, pens and pencils.
“My mom helped me get the items,” Enriquez said. “It makes me sad when I hear soldiers are getting hurt.”
Carmen Montano sent four dollars worth of gum.
“I imagine the soldiers are hot and tired and having trouble fighting,” Montano said. “It’s hard for them.”
Ayres said her students watch special reports from Iraq on their classroom television.
“We discuss the situation in Iraq daily,” Ayres said. “Some students talk about the soldiers having a really hard time fighting and others talk about how well the soldiers are doing.”
Ayres said some money for shipping costs was donated by local Elks Lodge and local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post members.