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Students send ‘inspiration’ to wounded soldiers

Two Farragut Middle School friends wanted to give up something for Lent; instead they, and hundreds more students, chose to give back to U.S. soldiers, recovering in hospitals.

Hailey Cohen, 11, started things when she tried to give up something for Lent.

“I was talking one night with my mom about how my friends were giving up something, and I tried to give up something for Lent,” Hailey said. “But it didn’t work.”

She decided to do something for others instead.

“My mom said soldiers give their lives everyday and we should try to give back to them for Easter just so they’d be appreciated,” Hailey said.

The students wrote quotes, notes of inspiration and encouragement for the soldiers, placing the notes in plastic Easter eggs.

“I think sometimes, when something is going wrong, when [a soldier] loses his arm or something, that they’re not really feeling appreciated. I think it’s important that for Easter, a holiday, that they be appreciated for all the hard work that they’ve done,” Hailey added.

“It’s opening the kids’ eyes to what has been done for them,” Cohen said.

Carson Woody, 12, has been close friends with Hailey since 2004; they’re neighbors in the Weatherly Hills subdivision and members of the FMS soccer team.

“They’ve been away from their families for awhile. They’ve been hurt. And they need just a little picker-upper letting them know that people care about them,” Carson said.

Carson, a self-proclaimed poet, said, “I heard a lot of [quotes] over the years and some of them I just came up with on my own.”

“I’m pretty sure we’ll end up doing this again next year and the year after that. And it taught me to be happy with what you have, and [that] we live in a nice world because they’ve been fighting for us,” Carson said.

Five soccer girls from the sixth-grade bronze pod at FMS jumped aboard initially. Then, FMS principal Heather Karnes opened it up to the school. Farragut Intermediate School principal Kay Wellons also involved FIS.

Students wrote notes of inspiration in 1,200 plastic Easter eggs for soldiers recovering from injuries sustained in battle or training exercises.

“It stared with one person, then another person. It just grew and grew. I think this project shows the generosity of our community,” Roseanne Cohen, Hailey’s mother, said.

A few messages the girls wrote:

• Thank you for serving in our army, you’ve done so much to help us and we just want to let you know you are appreciated.

• I never thought to pray for somebody who has served in our armed forces, but now I will.

• It takes a strong man to stand up for himself but it takes a stronger man to stand up for others.

• When I feel down, I take a deep breath, count to 10, and know that I am loved.

Roseanne Cohen contacted a client of hers with Intrepid Fallen Heros Fund. A representative suggested the “Inspiration Eggs” be sent to hospitals in Texas.

The Inspiration eggs were sent to Center for the Intrepid andBrooke Army Medical Center in Texas.


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