Kindergarteners through eigth-graders from Clarence Central School District in Clarence, N.Y., made Christmas cards for Fort Hood soldiers processing through the 21st Replacement Detachment.

Ann Marie Rodemeyer, a bus driver for Clarence Central School District, started making personalized cards four years ago when a friend’s son was in the Marine Corps. Rodemeyer worked with the local church to send cards overseas through the American Red Cross and then decided to send cards to Fort Hood.

“These soldiers have made sacrifices serving our country,” Rodemeyer said. “Some cannot be with their families during Christmas and the kids wanted to show them that they care.”

Rodemeyer provided the students with materials to get them started.

On afternoon bus rides from school to home, more than 50 students made 120 Christmas cards. The cards were given to soldiers processing through the 21st Replacement Detachment.

“We were all thankful for young students to be considerate of us,” said 1st Sgt. Adrian Ayala, 21st Replacement Detachment. “It lifted our soldiers’ spirits and especially those newly assigned to Fort Hood.”

Many soldiers were incoming in the middle of the Christmas holidays and were away from family.

“These are young soldiers who weren’t able to be home,” said Hermelinda Sandifer, chief of the Housing Division. “This was a big effort for the students to make a difference for these soldiers during the holidays.”

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