Sur­prise for a sol­dier Staff sergeant hon­ored at chil­dren’s school

The Covington News - - SUNDAY LIVING - By Jenny Thompson

Army Staff Sergeant Alonzo Harper re­ceived a pleas­ant sur­prise walk­ing into West New­ton El­e­men­tary School Fri­day af­ter­noon.

Harper thought he was sim­ply go­ing to the school to eat lunch with his sons, sec­ond-grader Jaden and fifth grader Alonzo Jr and wife Tina.

When he ar­rived, red, white and blue stream­ers dec­o­rated the atrium.

An­dria Bun­ner, par­ent and com­mu­nity in­volve­ment co­or­di­na­tor for West New­ton, helped Jaden plan a Vet­er­ans Day ap­pre­ci­a­tion cer­e­mony for his fa­ther.

“As you dis­cov­ered, you are not hav- ing lunch with only your sons,” Bun­ner said. “This is a thank you for you and your fam­ily’s sac­ri­fice to en­sure our free­dom.”

Harper is sta­tioned at Fort Ben­ning in a re­place­ment com­pany re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing sol­diers fly­ing in and out of the coun­try. He has pre­vi­ously served in Iraq.

Roger Wa­ters of the Cov­ing­ton/ Cony­ers Choral Guild sang the na­tional an­them and Jaden Harper’s class­mates in Jen­nifer Loet­zerich’s class read excerpts from the poem “One Na­tion Un­der God” by Roger Robincheau.

Af­ter the short pro­gram Harper and stu­dents en­joyed cup­cakes and potato chips.

Harper said he ap­pre­ci­at­edWest New­ton’s sup­port of the troops, and that ev­ery­one should con­tinue to sup­port sol­diers and their fam­i­lies with let­ters, do­na­tions and prayers.

“This is a real honor,” said Harper about his sur­prise, “be­cause a lot of sol­diers didn’t get to come back to get this kind of honor.”

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Ap­pre­ci­a­tion: Army Staff Sergeant Alonzo Harper, left, and his wife Tina, cen­ter, ac­cept a stack of thank you let­ters from West New­ton El­e­men­tary Teacher Jen­nifer Loet­zerich. The thank you let­ters were pre­pared by stu­dents from Jen­nifer Loet­zerich’s class and were pre­sented to Harper dur­ing a sur­prise Vet­er­ans Day ap­pre­ci­a­tion cer­e­mony Fri­day af­ter­noon.

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