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Local students make cards for injured soldier

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Hammett Bowen youths send get-well wishes

By Michel Northsea

With coloring crayons, colored pencil and colored markers, construction paper was transformed into get well cards last week at Hammett Bowen Elementary School.

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The get well cards were for a Marine who had been shot four times. On Aug. 30, Cpl. Shane Hathaway underwent surgery at National Naval Medical Center for his injuries.

His parents requested cards to help cheer him up.

That request was forwarded to many agencies including Marion County’s Veterans Service Office. Jeffrey Askew, director of the county’s veterans services, posted the request Sept. 2 through the veterans’ service message center.

Askew’s request didn’t go unnoticed by Hammett Bowen’s Parent/ Community Liaison Carol Runge.

“I saw the request that night and I got on first thing when I came in,” she said.

Four teachers agreed to have their students make cards for Hathaway.

By the end of the day on Friday a packet of 50 cards were on Runge’s desk.

Runge took cards to the post office for shipping Saturday morning.

“Some of the cards were so touching,” explained Runge.

The hand-written comments expressed sympathy for the American soldier they do not know.

“I heard what happen. I’m just happy your still alive. You are bravest person I’ve ever met,” wrote Ellese Reyes. He also went on explain who Hammett Bowen’s school was named after. Bowen was killed while serving in the Army.

Emily in Jose Santiago’s class wishes that he never gets shots again and hopes Hathaway experiences a “great recovery.”

There was some awe for Hathaway on the part of card writer Michael Garcia.

“You must be tough because I can’t believe you got shot four times. I hope you feel better and thank you for risking your life for us,” he wrote.

Abby hoped the best for Hathaway and then invited him to visit at Hammett Bowen in her note to the solider.

After introducing herself, she wrote, “I can’t imagine how you must have felt. That must have been so unexpected. I can’t believe how lucky we all are to have people like you. I hope you’re feeling better, the things you do for us mans a lot. I know how hard you must work and all the training you must go through. I can’t wait for you to come to our school,” she wrote.