About 100 students in Glenda Sours' English and agriculture classes at Tucumcari High and Middle schools are writing Valentines to a group of soldiers in Baghdad.
“We had to start now so that the letters will get there in time for Valentine's Day,” said Sours. “We’ll be mailing them tonight (Thursday).”
The soldiers who will receive the cards are in the 425th Airborne Battalion and many are on their second tour of duty in Iraq.
“The unit was recently deployed from Fort Richardson, Anchorage, Alaska, to Baghdad,” said Sours.
She corresponds frequently with the battalion commander, Capt. Calvin Kroeger, who is a graduate of Clovis High School, the New Mexico Military Institute at Roswell and West Point. Sours also has a connection to Kroeger, who she taught at Clovis High School and who is her grandson Garrett’s father.
During the battalion’s first Iraqi tour, Sours’ classes developed a correspondence with some of the soldiers and the current letter writers hope to do so, too, she said.
In between Kroeger’s tours in Iraq, 2005 and now, he came to THS and visited with students.
Sours said Kroeger has told her that the letters from the students are good for morale and that the soldiers like to hear that people are thinking of them. Student Chuck Morrison, 17, sent two jokes in his Valentine message. Here’s one:
“What happens when you throw a grenade into a French kitchen? Linoleum Blown Apart (Napoleon Bonaparte).”
“They are in a tense situation and laughter helps,” Morrison said. “I’d be more than willing to correspond with someone if they write back.”
Matt Smith, 17, said, he thought it was good for the soldiers to hear about good things from home.
Samantha Montano, 17, said, “I think its good to support them and good for them to have something to look forward to.”