U.S. Army specialist Orlando Ivy just returned from a year-long tour in Afghanistan. He thought he'd be meeting a small class of students at Piney Woods Elementary School in Splendora, but instead, he was welcomed by the entire school.
He enlisted in the Army as a college student looking for adventure, but found that he needed support from home. So he enrolled in the 'Adopt-a-US-Soldier' program. The third grade class from Piney Woods sent him cards, drawings and emails during his tour to keep him in good spirits.
Now back from overseas, he's happy to visit with the students who supported him.
"War is a very gruesome thing to be a part of and when you have kids of a third grade class sending you these very creative cards and asking questions, wanting to know more about you, though they've never met you and can be that young and appreciate what you do, it's an awesome thing and an awesome feeling," said Ivy.
"We wrote cards. We wrong some of these big posters over here," said third-grader Christopher Andrade.
"It was fun to have him here today and we get to spend the rest of the day with him," added Kloie Welch.
Their teacher, Ms. Kirkham, arranged it all. She says it's the second time she's arranged this through the Adopt-a-US-Soldier program.
Ivy told us that when he was overseas, he really did see the soldiers lifted out of depression by the cards and letters sent to them through this program.