For the first time in the seven-year history of Komets Kare Package, The News-Sentinel asked Fort Wayne-area school children to participate by writing letters to our troops.
Sponsored by The News-Sentinel, the Komets, Federal Express and WANE, NewsChannel 15, the program asks Komets fans to drop off items for our troops during the Friday, Sunday and New Year's Eve games or at Federal Express Shipping Center, 3620 Independence Dr. We'll collect the items and ship them to our troops through Hoosiers Helping Heroes starting next month.
Maybe partly because we asked just after many schools had Veterans Day programs, the response from the school children was tremendous. Here are some excerpts:
"Thank you for serving our country. God's blessings on to you all!''
Zach, Grade 5, Lutheran South Unity Schools
"Merry Christmas! I hope you have a happy holiday.''
Leah, Grade 5, Lutheran South Unity Schools
"Thanks for fighting for us and keeping us alive. You people are awesome!''
Gaige, Grade 5, Lutheran South Unity Schools
"Thank you for what you did, and I'm a girl and I want to be in the Navy. You are a star.''
Acacia, Grade 4, Lutheran South Unity Schools
"Dear solders, we thank you for fighting in the silver war, and we also want you to tell us about your state or city.''
Nevach, Grade 4, Lutheran South Unity
"I am so happy that God protects you.''
Camrell, Grade 4, Lutheran South Unity
"Be brave, strong and bold. I have every part of my heart trusted in you. Don't ever doubt yourself. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16. God loves you!''
Terrell, Grade 4, Lutheran South Unity
"One day I would love to meet you but I can't because I have to go to school and learn about what the armed forces do.''
Ayanna, Grade 4, Brentwood Elementary
"I really appreciate that you serve our country. I know somebody that served, my dad! Thanks to him I can understand what it took to be in the armed forces.''
Nicholas, Grade 4, Brentwood Elementary
"I get that your job is hard because my grandma and grandpa and my dad were in the Air Force.''
William, AKA Agent X5, Grade 4, Brentwood Elementary
"I always wanted to know what you do when you are not in combat. I wish I could see how you train.''
Christoper, Grade 4, Brentwood Elementary
"I don't think I would be able to do anything like you did. I seriously appreciate it. You are the bravest person I would even know.''
Jacob, Grade 4, Brentwood Elementary
"As the holidays approach, I've started thinking less about myself and more about others. One of my best friends is going into the Army. I wish he wouldn't, but it's what he really wants so I'm proud of him.''
Sharon, Anthis Career Center, Cosmetology Dept.
"I wish I could say I actually know who you are, but no matter who you are, you are greatly appreciated. I'm proud of you.''
Ashleigh, Anthis Career Center, Cosmetology Dept.
"As the holidays come I pray for everybody across the seas hoping you all have a good meal and letters from home.''
Camille, Anthis Career Center, Cosmetology Dept.
"I don't even know you at all, but know that even though we are strangers my heart is with you and I am praying for every single one of you there.''
Lauren, Anthis Career Center, Cosmetology Dept.
"During the holidays, in church we get asked what we want to pray for, and in my thoughts are soldiers who are somewhere far or somewhere near so that God can protect and guide your steps.''
AnaKaren, Anthis Career Center, Cosmetology Dept.
"Do you like putting ornimens on the tree?''
Katie, Grade 2, Ascension Lutheran
"Dear Soldier, My name is Grace. I'm in the second grade! Thank you for protecting our country. How are you? I am good.''
Grace, Grade 2, Ascension Lutheran
"I am especially sorry that you might have to be away from your family this Christmas season. I myself know a little about this because I am multiple family members in the military. Sometimes it gets really hard when they are away, but you just have to focus on their homecoming.''
Annalee, Grade 8, Ascension Lutheran
"My father is in the 122nd fighter wing and once couldn't be home for Christmas. I remember that I missed him and wished he could be with us. But I was also proud, I was proud that I could say my dad was serving his country to the fullest.''
David, Grade 8, Ascension Lutheran
"America means a lot of me. If we weren't a free country, I probably wouldn't play all the sports I play. I probably wouldn't do a lot of things that I want to. Thank you.''
Chloe, Grade 6, Ascension Lutheran
"There are many children who take for granted their parents during the Christmas season. I'm one of them. I sometimes forget about the kids out there who have a mom or dad who sacrifices their time with them to protect our country and the people who live here, including me. I know that one of those kids without a mom or dad right now could very well be yours, and I feel the least I can do, in thanks for your actions, is to thank you in this letter and tell you just how grateful I am towards you and the sacrifices you have made.''
Tina, Grade 8, Ascension Lutheran
"Thank you for protecting us. You saved our life from the time long ago to now we have people to save us. Now's the time where you get to see your families. You protect them because you love them. Have a very Merry Christmas.''
Bella, Grade 4, Perry Hill Elementary
The seventh year of Komets Kare Package will be held Friday, Sunday and Tuesday. The program is sponsored by The News-Sentinel, the Komets, Federal Express and WANE Ch. 15.
Here's a list of needed items from the folks at Hoosiers Helping Heroes who process our donations and send them to the troops: jerky, breath mints, gum, men's and women's deodorant, snack bars, small bags of nuts, feminine hygiene items, nail clippers, potato chips, plastic jars of peanut butter, hard candy, candy bars, packs of cookies, baby wipes, black socks, razors, shampoo, flip-flops of all sizes, body wash, chess and checker sets, protein bars, trail mix, chicken or tuna salad snack packs, sunflower seeds, puzzle books, travel-insulated coffee mugs, drink and sports drink sleeves.
Items can be dropped off at the next three home games or at the Federal Express Shipping Center, 3620 Independence Dr., during business hours.