By Jillian Risberg
They protect and serve and put their lives on the line everyday and now some local kids from the Anna L. Klein school in Guttenberg have written letters to our local troops thanking them for their service.
Three servicemen from the New Jersey Army National Guard out of Jersey City stopped by Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez’s office for a meet and greet and to pick up the letters.
“It means a lot because the kids — it shows they’re starting to understand what we do and maybe one day they can do the same thing and help serve their country,” says Staff Sgt. Anthony Camejo, of receiving the letters from the local school children.
Area schools were welcome to participate in this project.
“Anna L. Klein was one of the schools that offered to write; our office was sent the letters,” the assemblywoman says.
Jimenez didn’t sponsor this but says it came from the New Jersey statehouse and she worked in conjunction with them to put this writing campaign together.
“It’s always a huge honor; they’re a huge part of everything,” the assemblywoman says of the troops.
What could be better than boosting the morale of the servicemen and women and putting smiles on their faces.
“When I was deployed actually I got letters from kids and that was actually really cool,” Camejo says. “And I remember being a kid and writing those letters so it reminds me when I was sitting in their shoes.”
“It’s a very nice feeling to receive these,” Private First Class Ryan Brinster says. “I mean, I remember writing them as kid as well and to receive them now it feels great.”
We don’t always get the chance to interact with our troops and thank them for their daily sacrifice.
“Our vets are incredible people and whenever I have the opportunity to thank them, I feel it’s important,” Jimenez says.
The assemblywoman was at Fort Hood a few years back and the experience and connection to the troops clearly affects her.
Nowadays most people take it for granted.
“But when it’s there, when they’re in front of you, not unless it’s a relative that is joining the service do you really feel it close to you,” Jimenez says.
How will Brinster respond to this outpouring from the students?
“The first time I’ve ever received this. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to write back, I don’t really know, the private says. “But I would love to write back, if we’re allowed the opportunity.”
At the end of the day, we all know someone in the service, either directly or indirectly. So it feels close to home.
“Our teachers, our servicemen, our police officers, our firemen — I mean these are the foundation to our community,” Jimenez says. “I’m really happy that this will bring a little joy to our servicemen. Whatever gives them a little joy, it makes me happy.”
“Kudos to all you guys for taking the time and making all these ultimate sacrifices; I commend you and whatever we can do in my office.”
“I’m a lifer,” Camejo told the assemblywoman about the future of his military career.
According to Brinster, he is going to enlist again.
“Career,” Sgt. First Class Jose Malave says. “I do believe you have to love it; it has to be in your heart, that’s what it is.”
The more schools that get on board to write to our troops would just be everything.
“And when it’s one of my schools in my district it’s really incredible,” Jimenez says. “And I know that Sen. Sacco as well as Assemblyman Mejia — they’re so involved in this and they love it just as much as I do.”