AHS teacher inspired students to make personal connection
IMLAY CITY — When VFW Commander Bob Conrad went to pick up Post 2492’s mail at the Imlay City Post Office last week, he found the mail box filled to the brim with letters.
Upon inspection, he discovered that all of the letters were from high school students at Almont High School.
Indeed, each of the 69 letters received had been written and signed by students in Almont High School teacher Mary Campbell’s 9th and 10th grade English classes.
With support and encouragement from AHS Principal Elizabeth Gallagher, Campbell challenged her students to compose personal letters to local veterans, acknowledging their service and sacrifices.
Though the letters were intended to arrive by Veterans Day (Nov. 11), it was a few days later that Conrad found them in the Post’s mail box.
“It was quite overwhelming to find all those letters,” Conrad said. “To me it really shows that patriotism is alive and well in our schools and communities.”
Conrad said he wished he could personally thank each and every student that wrote a letter.
“Of course that won’t be possible,” he said. “but we want these young people to know how much these letters mean to us, and to all who’ve served and continue to serve our country in uniform.”
Campbell said her students were eager to to express their feelings toward veterans through the letter-writing project.
“Overall, our students are aware of the sacrifices our service members make, but they aren’t always sure how to convey their genuine gratitude,” she said. “Some students took this as an opportunity to connect with their own family members who had served by writing personal and detailed letters to them.
“Others wrote to our local veterans to thank and tell them about their family members who served,” Campbell continued. “I was impressed with the care and attention many students invested in crafting their letters, and I’m proud of the way they embraced the opportunity to let our local veterans know that we do care and are deeply grateful.”
Excerpts from letters
The following are excerpts from a few of the students’ letters.
“Growing up, I never knew my grandpa due to his passing while serving. I love hearing stories about him and all the great things he did. That’s why I’m writing this letter today.”
— Jesse Kautz
“Thank you for being brave and for keeping us safe. Because of you we can live without the thought of battles and wars coming to us.”
— Dylan Burr
“Some people don’t understand what you went though to protect us and help keep our freedoms. We need to educate ourselves about your experiences so we can learn from your wisdom.”
— Lexi Hawley
“Our country is what it is today because of you and all the other veterans. I hope you realize how special you are for putting others, even your country, before yourself.”
— Rylie Ferman