News Room

May 21, 2008

"We got the idea from an experienced veteran who told us the best things in a soldier's life are hot food and a letter from home."

Written by Senator Eliot Shapleigh,


EL PASO – Today, Senator Shapleigh announced that Texas solders received over 1,700 letters from home in the Texas National Guard Letters from Home Project.  Students from Escontrias Early Childhood Center participated in the press conference.

"We got the idea from an experienced veteran who told us the best things in a soldier's life are hot food and a letter from home," said Senator Shapleigh.

The Texas National Guard Letters from Home Project, a letter writing campaign, gives area school children the opportunity to express their gratitude to our troops serving throughout the state. Elementary school students from Canutillo, Socorro, Ysleta, Clint and El Paso school districts participated in the pen pal project, writing more than 1,700 letters.

"The Pen Pal Writing Project initiated for the first time by Senator Eliot Shapleigh was a total success. For me personally, the experience was a wonderful one," said Christina Barrientos, a fourth grade bilingual education teacher at Escontrias Early Childhood Center.  "It was a real honor to participate in writing to these heroes who put their lives on the line everyday for us. We want our troops to know that we fully support their effort and that they are constantly in our prayers."

Eddie, a fourth grader at Putnam Elementary School, wrote in his letter, "I want to thank you for fighting the war for us."  He closed his letter with a wish: "Hopefully you will get home soon.  God bless America, land of the free and the brave."

"The real neat thing about the program was that the students were able to express how they felt about the soldier’s work," added Barrientos.  "It was a time to reflect on the great freedom and privileged rights we have because of them. The project was wonderfully planned and we hope to have this opportunity again next year."

The letters will be sorted and distributed to Texas National Guard armories throughout the state.

For more information contact Capt. Robert Duley at (915) 751-8806 ext. 201; Christina Barrientos at 937-4200 or; or Joana Alferez at 544-1990 or 

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