U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. surprises students

U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. surprises students at Cedar Bluff Middle School

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Sgt. Hensley surprised his pen pals Wednesday at Cedar Bluff Middle School. Sgt. Hensley surprised his pen pals Wednesday at Cedar Bluff Middle School.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A group of Cedar Bluff Middle School students get quite a surprise. Since August they've been writing to a member of the U.S. Air Force. Wednesday they met their pen pal in person.

The students thought they were going to Skype with Air Force Technical Sgt. Kevin Hensley. They've been writing him letters since august but Sgt. Hensley had a special surprise.

"I'd like to surprise the group today and tell them how thankful I am for them taking the time out of their day to write," said TSgt. Hensley.

While technical Sgt. Hensley was deployed in Afghanistan the Cedar Bluff Middle School Gratitude Group decided to show their appreciation and send him letters.

"It means the world to us to know that people care about you when you're gone," said Technical Sgt. Hensley.

13 year old 7th grader Elizabeth Farmer has written him over ten letters. She'd tell him about her day and thank him for his service.

"You're amazing and don't forget that there are people who care for you and I get that you are out there and you might forget," said Elizabeth.

While the students waited to Skype Sgt. Hensley walked in through the side door.

"I just wanted to cry of happiness and it was astounding that he was actually here," said Elizabeth.

TSgt. Hensley told the students thank you and gave them an American flag flown over Afghanistan. He says the flag was to show gratitude for the student's support of the US Military.

"You hear about all the negative publicity. You hear about people who don't understand why we are there or what we are doing but it's nice to know people realize we are human and people do care about you," said TSgt. Hensley.

Farmer says she will continue to write and thank our service members and hopes other express their appreciation as well.

"It's pretty much the best thing ever for them knowing that people are thinking about them and caring about them and not forgetting and knowing the sacrifice," said Elizabeth.

The Gratitude Group is a student-led group who does projects for the school community, and country. They welcome new students, have helped with campus clean up, sponsored teacher appreciation week, are collecting vases for Random Acts of Flowers, write letters to two soldiers, have decorated for Music in Our Schools Month, collected baskets for STAR therapeutic riding stable, make cards for nursing home residents, and much more! They also give certificates of thanks to faculty and staff and have a paper chain of things they are grateful for.

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