Friday, May 26, 2006

How sweet

A soldier said he was only showing his gratitude when gave his Purple Heart to a 13-year-old student being honored for winning a contest for writing letters to American troops.

"It's important what these children do for us in sending these letters," said Staff Sgt. Phillip Trackey, after giving away the medal he received for injuries in Iraq. "The letters mean so much to us. So I thought this was a big way of giving something back to them."

Trackey and a group of fellow Fort Drum soldiers were attending a ceremony Thursday at West Genesee Middle School for seventh-grader Fatima Faisal, of Camillus, who was being honored as a regional winner in the Veteran's of Foreign Wars' Letters to the Front contest.

After Faisal received her prizes, Trackey stood and held up his Purple Heart for everyone to see. Then, he pinned it on the girl's blouse.

Fatima said she didn't know what to say or do.

"I'm touched. I'm speechless," Fatima said. "This is the sweetest thing ever."

Faisal's letter was chosen the best out of more than 300 letters written in the age 12-18 category in the Central New York region. The national contest was to write letters to servicemen and servicewomen starting with the line, "Dear Service Member, I just wanted to say thanks for ..."

Teacher Donna Mahar said she has her seventh-grade classes participate in the yearly contest. About 60 of her pupils wrote letters, she said.

In her letter, Faisal said, "...I give you great respect because you had a choice to join the military and because of your bravery and courage you decided to join."

For winning the contest, Faisal received a T-shirt, a certificate and a $50 savings bond.

But the Purple Heart was the top prize, Faisal said, adding she hoped to mount it in a frame to hang in her room.


yellowdog granny said...

he's going to wish he had that back in the future..and ah....i think i smell a movie of the week here..

dom said...

No doubt,but he could probably get one from eBay.
Will prince sing the theme to the film ?

I never meant 2 cause u any sorrow
I never meant 2 cause u any pain
I only wanted 2 one time see u laughing
I only wanted 2 see u laughing in the purple heart
Purple heart,purple heart ,
Purple heart,purple heart ,
Purple heart,purple heart ,
I only wanted 2 see u wearing in the purple heart

yellowdog granny said...

dont give up your day job..