An Army officer recently came to Briarcliff to express his thanks for the support he got from students. Here’s a write-up about his visit:
The temperature averages 110 degrees, the work days is at least 16 hours long and the distance between loved ones is thousands of miles. So “mail is very important to us,” Lt. Leonard Eyster of the U.S. Army told Briarcliff High School students yesterday about his deployment in Afghanistan. “The main reason I’m here today is to say thank you to all of the students at Briarcliff High School who wrote letters during my time in Afghanistan.”
Eyster, a platoon leader who spent a year in Afghanistan working with the 101st Airborne Division helping stock helicopters with desperately needed supplies, was invited by Briarcliff High School’s SOS (Support Our Soldiers) club to speak about his time in the military. Last year students in Julia Fernandez’s class wrote letters of encouragement, support and thanks to Eyster and his fellow soldiers, and this year he, in turn, wanted to thank them.
“It’s really sweet to get letters from back home,” he said. “It’s great to be reminded of America. When you get deployed, you are pulled away from your family and friends.”
Fernandez, who is the SOS club advisor, said the club has lofty goals for the year. “We want to continue writing letters to soldiers, do fundraising for care packages, promote awareness and investigate ways to get involved politically. We are also looking into touring a training facility like West Point sometime in the future.”
When a student asked Eyster what the best things to include in care packages are, he was quick to respond: “For me, it was peanut butter and Snapple. They don’t have those things over there!”