Airman publishes book of letters

Sarah Meyer, Cannon Connections

A simple exchange of letters with a class of fifth-grade students made a big difference for a deployed airman and the children.

Capt. Tyler Moore, assigned to Cannon Air Force Base, exchanged letters with students in Debra Dale’s class at Eyestone Elementary School in Wellington, Colo., while he was deployed in the Middle East.

The letter exchange began in October 2006 after another soldier suggested putting his name on a mailing list and continued through June 2007.

“It was a really great experience,” Moore said.

“In September (2006), I was just a guy sitting at a desk in the Middle East,” he said. Then he started getting letters from the children, saying things such as, “We don’t know you, but we’re proud of you.”

Moore made a strong impression on the children, too, Dale said.

“When the project started, we weren’t aware that we were doing a deed that would make a difference in someone else’s life,” she said. “It was a very positive thing for everybody involved.”

The children corresponded with other soldiers as well, but Moore’s responses seemed more personal, Dale said.

In addition to their support for his service in the Middle East, the children would talk about their lives and the weather, Moore said.

The letters let him know that he was making a difference. He received 87 letters from the students and collected them into a book. The book, “Dear Captain Moore, Letters to a Service Member in the Middle East,” is published on demand through iUniverse.com.

The students now see themselves as writers, Dale said.

The best part of the experience was visiting the children at school in April 2007, he said.
“It was nice to put faces with names,” he said.

Moore presented the class with an American flag in a glass frame that had flown over Iraq and Cannon, as well as with certificates of appreciation.

In Iraq, Moore’s duties involved communications maintenance. At Cannon he is officer in charge of policy and evaluations.

Moore’s first draft of the book was finished in mid-September 2007 and the book was published Jan. 4.

It is available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com
__________________________

“Dear Captain Moore:”

I am very happy to be writing to someone in the war. My dad’s in it too but is very happy to be serving our country. My dad has been to so many places. I am very hopeful that the men and women of our country will come home safe. Here in Colorado we already have snow. I also think that you miss your family too. Thank you for serving our country well.

Sincerely, Donna

• • •

You should meet my mom, she’s nice. I wish it would get warm over here because I am freezing. I am sorry you miss the snow but look at the good side, almost every one want you to write to them. If I could get a picture of you, that would be great. I’ll try to get a picture of the class.

Your friend, Jarren

• • •

My name is Hailey. I love spending my time writing this letter to you. What’s your favorite football team? You can have more than one. Mine are the Broncos, Steelers, Seahawks, and the Patriots! Hey, I almost forgot: it’s snowing! We’re getting six inches, and it’s below zero. It must be hot there. Well, I have to go. Bye!

From Hailey

• • •

Thank you for coming. The plaque you gave us is in the newspaper! The certificates were cool too. You having lunch with us was really nice. You were like a pop star with every one around at recess.

From Erica

• • •

Thank you so much for coming to our classroom. We all appreciated the plaque you gave us. Thank you for the certificates you gave us. We all think you are a great guy.

Signed, Amy