By Todd Martin

Special to the Hood Herald

A group of eighth-grade English students in Harker Heights recently decided to encourage some American heroes the old- fashioned way with pencil and paper and a lot of heart.

Doris Rose's first-period class at Eastern Hills Middle School organized a school-wide drive to write letters to encourage soldiers impacted by the Nov. 5 shooting at Fort Hood and then expanded it to include their Adopt-A-School soldier partners.

Eighth-grader Cashe Beck took the role of voicing announcements to the whole school encouraging students to write letters to soldiers.

Other students took on the roles of picking up letters from other classes, coloring on the letters and packaging them in envelopes.

Eighth-grader Jordan Oliver took the lead in the effort, encouraging others to write. His dad delivered the first batch to III Corps following the Nov. 5 shooting. More recently, as the school's Adopt-A-School partner, III Corps Phantom Battalion, cased their colors and began to deploy, the students turned their efforts to penning and illustrating letters to their school's adopted soldiers.

In a separate but related project, the class prepared special letters and pictures for a notebook to send to police Sgt. Kim Munley who helped to end the shooting on the post.

"I think she helped us a lot so the situation didn't lead to more (shootings)," Beck said. Other students said they felt honored to be able to encourage soldiers who give their time to the school and to those who labor to keep Fort Hood secure.

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