• December 25, 2014

Eastern Hills student leads letter campaign

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Posted: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:15 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Fort Hood Herald

HARKER HEIGHTS - Hearing about the shootings at Fort Hood Nov 5. was one of the scariest moments of Jordan Oliver's life, he said Friday.

His father, a retired military police officer, worked for the post's Directorate of Emergency Services and was on post that day. Jordan, a 13-year-old at Eastern Hills Middle School, was scared "just knowing my dad could be in a situation where he was hurt or killed."

"That really made me feel like I should do something about this," Jordan said.

Eighth-graders, led by Jordan, in Doris Rose's first-period English class at Eastern Hills started a school-wide, letter-writing drive last November to encourage soldiers and first responders involved in the Nov. 5 shooting, according to information from the Killeen Independent School District. Jordan's father, Burton, then delivered the letters to Fort Hood.

Rose estimated Friday that students from sixth through eighth grades have written about 1,000 letters since November.

The campaign later expanded to III Corps soldiers who were preparing to deploy to Iraq. Soldiers from the battalion volunteer at the school, helping with everything from homework to school-wide activities.

The school recently completed its final writing project of the year: compiling a book of letters for Kimberly Munley, a civilian police officer at Fort Hood who is credited with helping stop the shooter.

Rose's first-period class presented Munley with the collection Friday morning in the school's library.

Jordan could tell the letters collected from students came from the heart, he said.

"The campus did a really good job," he added.

Jordan's mother, Sheila, said her son's effort made her proud. It feels like maybe "we did something right as parents," Burton added.

Children aren't shy about asking questions, Munley said of her interaction with them since the incident.

It's been neat to see how their feelings are associated with that day, she added.

Talking to young people about an experience can be difficult, but Munley said she starts with basics. She will encourage them to deal with their emotions so that "hopefully none of them grow up to express anger in that way," she said, referring to the shooting.

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at astair@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7547.

Todd Martin with the Killeen Independent School District contributed to this report.

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