Greenwood students write to Iraq
Greenwood fifth grader Dylan Schneider got a little worried when he heard his Aunt Olga Ziegler talking about his cousin Chris Wallace heading off to a tour of duty in Iraq.
Ziegler was upset and didn't want to hear the news about the Iraq War or see it on TV. She knew Wallace liked getting letters when he was in boot camp at Parris Island, so she talked to her nephew Dylan Schneider about writing to his cousin in Iraq.
That's when young Schneider had a better idea. Why not get all his friends to write to his cousin, too?
Wendy Schneider took her son's idea to Greenwood teacher Wendy Johnson and together they organized a letter-writing day for the school's fourth and fifth graders.
Dylan Schneider showed the class photos of his two Maryland cousins in their Marine uniforms. Chris Wallace, 19, was just recently married and headed off to do rescue work in Iraq. His brother Matt Wallace, 18, is also a Marine, stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Ziegler told the 20 elementary students they were doing a good thing by writing letters, even to just this one soldier.
Johnson reminded students to write a salutation and had them practice spelling "Sincerely" before she turned them loose to write letters to a young Marine they've never met.
Thank you for saving our country and that this is a letter to you and I want to be a marine.
While the children were chewing thoughtfully on colorful pencils or bent almost double over their letters, Ziegler talked about her grandsons. She said, almost in a whisper so the students couldn't hear, that she didn't want them to join the military.
"I actually tried to talk both of them out of it. I said,