Monday, January 11, 2010

School Projects Support the Troops

Third-grade students sing a sincere thank you to the men
and women who protect us in times of war and peace.

It was around Veterans Day last year that music teacher Michael Souders was searching for a special song -- a song that his students might sing as a thank you to soldiers who are serving and veterans who have served our country. When he couldn’t find a song that sounded like it came from the kids’ hearts, he and his wife, Angela, wrote one.

Soon after his students at Tussing Elementary School in Colonial Heights, Virginia, performed his song, “Thank You, Soldiers,” Souders posted it to several video-hosting Web sites. Those videos have received tens of thousands of hits, but way more heartwarming have been the letters and emails that Souder, his wife, and their students have received from active soldiers, veterans, and their families all around the world.

The Souders have posted the sheet music of the song on their Web site, Restored Ministries. There you will find a link to a free download (pdf) of the song lyrics and music for your school, church, or community group.


When Principal Michael Murphy approached students at Royalton-Hartland High School in Middleport, New York, about doing something special for the troops, he found them ready and eager. As a project, students in Deborah Rey’s class decided to create T-shirts for 56 members of the Marine Wing Support Squadron-472 (MWSS-472).

Before they could create the shirts, however, they had to raise money for the needed materials. To do that, students turned their classroom into a “coffee shop” for a day. They made baked goods and sold them to members of the school’s senior class. With cash in hand, they went to work creating T-shirts that had the Marine Corps logo and platoon name on the front and the words “Roy-Hart High School’s got your back” on the reverse. The T-shirts were individually gift-wrapped and sent to the troops along with pictures of the students working on the shirts.

In return, the students received thank you notes and a flag from members of the MWSS-472, the same platoon with which Murphy had served in Iraq some years before.

Murphy says the experience has benefited his students in many ways. “Hopefully, they’ll pay more attention to the news, become more involved in community and government,” he told the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal.


We’d love to hear your comments about this blog entry. And we’d like to learn what your school is doing to support our troops around the world or to recognize our veterans for their past service. Your comments (below) about this topic might encourage other school leaders to spur school-wide efforts that honor our brave men and women who serve.


Students Rewarded with Visit by Soldiers
Special education students at Memorial High School in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, decided to forgo Christmas gifts in order to send care packages to U.S. troops.

Thank You, Soldiers: A Reprise
The entire student body at Tussing Elementary joins in on the chorus of “Thank You, Soldiers.”

Let’s Say Thanks
Xerox Corporation has created this site, which is designed to deliver millions of cards to servicemen and women overseas with messages of support from home. Each student might choose one of 80 kid-designed postcards to send to U.S. troops and type his or her message on it. The cards will be bundled and mailed to troops with packages sent by Give 2 the Troops. A simple school-wide project!


  1. 愛情不是慈善事業,不能隨便施捨。.........................

  2. Thank you so much for this article - I wonder if you would help us share our new song, "I Still Believe" with all of our heroes?

    Thanks for any way you can help us!

    Michael Souders
    Music Teacher
    Tussing Elementary School