“If somebody moves away, you can write to them and it makes you feel like they are still close,” said Payton Gardner.
Gardner and her second-grade classmates at Lewisburg have been and will continue to write letters to Moore, who is currently stationed in Germany.
“I like writing letters because I don't want them to feel like they are along,” said Jarrett Hamilton.
Moore visited the students at the school Friday during his last day of leave before returning to Germany. The students gave him letters they had written and asked him many questions.
“I appreciate the letters you write me,” Moore said. He pointed out how far Germany and Iraq are from America and told them about some of his training.
“It's kind of like I'm still in school,” said Moore, a 2005 graduate from Logan County High School who is now a Private in the U.S. Army.
Moore said he takes classes about weapons, combat safety, night vision and navigation to name a few.
Since the students have been studying weather, Moore told them about the weather in Iraq. He explained that he and his unit will spend two weeks in Kuwait just adapting to the weather, which can features temperatures of 130 degrees. He said they also have to build immunity to different germs found in that area.
When asked how he got into the Army, Moore explained that after he graduated from high school he had three choices: go on to college, work in a factory or join the military. He decided the military was for him and signed on last year.
Moore, who attended Lewisburg, said is was nice to come back to his old school and even see some of his former teachers. The students gathered close around him when he talked and were anxious to share their own stories with him.
“He's a nice guy,” said Elizabeth Johnson.
Student Chris Wells showed a letter he had written to Moore, saying he wanted to be in the Army too. Wells had also drawn some camouflage on the back of the letter.
Teacher Denisa Powell said the students really enjoy the letter writing and seem to get a lot out of it.
“The feel like he's a friend to them,” she said.
Writing the letters to Moore is part of a class project brought about through a Service Learning Grant. Monies from the grant are used to buy stationery, postage and other needed items.
In addition to Moore, the students also write to a “trucker buddy” and another soldier. The students also wrote letters of encouragement to seventh and eighth graders before the CATS testing.