Monday, 20 May 2024

Iraq War soldier visits third graders

Sgt. Michael Walters visits with some of his pen pals at Kelseyville Elementary on Tuesday. Photo by Ginny Craven.


KELSEYVILLE April 17th was a very special day in the lives of Kelseyville third graders.

The young patriots have been writing letters to our troops to be included in care packages sent to Iraq by Operation Tango Mike. In the course of letter writing, the third graders became pen pals with Sgt. Michael Walters, an eight-year Army veteran.

The 80 third graders assembled to meet with me under the guise of discussing their next effort for care packages for our troops. I asked them to close their eyes and think of the most important thing they would say or ask in their next communication with Sgt. Walters.

While they concentrated, Sgt. Walters entered from the back of the room and joined me front and center. When the children opened their eyes, they were astonished to see their soldier pen pal from Iraq standing before them. There was a collective gasp in the room!

Sgt. Walters hosted a question-and-answer session with his excited little friends. The children were delighted to learn that he enjoys video games and his favorite food is pizza.

The professional young sergeant answered every question asked, emphasized the importance of staying in school and getting an education, and thanked the children for their support and letters.

The visit ended as the students left the room, shaking hands with and thanking their soldier friend for his visit. More than a few of the youngsters were inclined to hug their real life hero.

Sgt. Walters is enjoying 15 days' leave before he will return to Iraq to complete another nine months in his tour of duty there. Home for the military man is Corona.

His visit to Lake County was no small undertaking. This young man made the nine-hour trek on Monday with his fiancée, Cassandra, and his parents. They arrived at the Lakeport English Inn at 8 p.m., where they were greeted with a reception from Operation Tango Mike volunteers and proprietor Karan Mackey.

The gathering served as a welcoming and a wedding shower as Michael and Cassandra will be married on Saturday.

Sgt. Walters and his family departed Lake County with a feeling of deep gratitude. They were grateful for the support Michael has received while deployed and they were appreciative of the warmth and generosity of Lake County residents.



Walters, his parents and fiancee, Cassandra, drove nine hours to visit with the children. Photo by Ginny Craven.


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