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Students write thank you letters to veterans

The Wayne Independent - 11/14/2018

Nov. 12--WALLENPAUPACK -- Sometime ago, two teachers decided their students needed to express their thoughts and appreciation about Veterans Day, to veterans. As a result, every year Michael Guy and Janelle Krenitsky have their 9th grade students at Wallenpaupack Area High School write and rewrite letters that are sent to veterans at the American Legion Post 311 in Hawley.

Those letters, Hank Schroeder who is a past commander of the Post said, have such meaning to the veterans, that they often bring tears to their eyes. The letters that thank the veterans for the service are "beautiful."

The letters are written and sent to no specific veteran, thanking them for their service. The notes are often personalized, with the students telling of their own family members who have served and decorating them with their own art. Each letter, Schroeder said is different, but also "very nice."

No students are named, but each envelope consists of a simple explanation for the letters from Guy and Krenitsky, telling the letters are meant to recognize the veterans' "sacrifice, bravery and honor to our country." The initial note said the veterans are owed a "forever debt of gratitude" for what they have done and that they are appreciated "from the bottom of our hearts for your courage and loyalty to the flag and our country."

One student recognized the veterans' sacrificing their lives to "fight for our country." Because of that, the veterans are appreciated since they dedicated themselves to "keep our nation safe." Taking such actions, the student wrote is "very risky" but their bravery is valued.

Each letter ends, "Sincerely a Wallenpaupack 9th grade student."

Guy said he started the letters because he believes its important that veterans are honored and feels Veterans Day is a holiday often overlooked, despite its importance and so, it is an opportunity for his students to pay their respects to those who have fought for their freedoms. This project has meaning for Guy, because he comes from a family of veterans, including two sisters who are in the Air Force, a father who is a Marine and a grandfather who was a Marine, so veterans should be "regarded as heroes and certainly not forgotten."

The letters are an assignment that has the highest participation rate, receiving 100 percent completion, in addition to the students adding their extra touches with their art. The students present the letters to the veterans and between the six classes, there are 15 to 20 students, which means there are approximately 100 letters written.

Some of the letters, Guy called "inspiring and heartfelt" because its obvious that the students put pride into their words, often taking the extra effort to ensure their letters are as perfect as they can be, because they are to be something of "value" for people who have "put their life on the line for us."

One student wrote how they were thankful for their freedom and independence, hoping the veteran had a "great day and always remember that you are a hero."

Another student thanked the "dear valued veteran" for their service, because they had "fought very hard to defend our country and I'm thankful for that." The letter continued, "I hope you have a great day and remember you're a hero.

To show their appreciation for the letters, on behalf of American Legion Post 311 in Hawley, Joe Majesky presented Guy and Krenitsky with a certificates of appreciation for their thoughtful project.


(c)2018 Wayne Independent, Honesdale, Pa.

Visit Wayne Independent, Honesdale, Pa. at www.wayneindependent.com

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