Marine hero visits elementary school pen pals

For months, Marine Sgt. Calvin Colclough has received letters from Bell School 3rd graders. Friday, he stopped by to meet his pen pals.
April 29, 2011 10:17:27 PM PDT
A school in Turnersville got a visit from a soldier today who has become a special friend.

For months, Marine Sgt. Calvin Colclough has received letters from Bell School 3rd graders. Friday, he stopped by to meet his pen pals.

Sgt. Colclough has served 2 tours in Iraq and is just now back from Afghanistan. The children began sending him letters and homemade cards about 8 months ago. When they finally met the 25-year-old Washington Township native, they had lots of questions for him.

"What do you eat there?"

"They're called MREs," Sgt. Colclough said. "So they're field rationed food. They're not too good. But we also, the Afghan people they would make us rice and potato chips, which was my favorite."

The boys and girls love to write and even put together a collection of additional letters for their hero and presented it during their meeting.

"I really appreciated them writing the letters and taking the time to share their thoughts and feelings with me," ColClough said. "Me and my friends got good laughs out of it, and some of the kids said that, if I needed help, call them. They got my back."

Sgt. Colclough was the ultimate show-and-tell guest. He brought lots of photos; he passed around foreign currency, coins and medals; even an Afghan flag and scarves. All of it seemed to delight this inquisitive group.

"I felt great to meet him. It's very exciting because I never really met a soldier in his uniform who just came back," said Grace Harrington, a 3rd grader.

It really was a special day in this 3rd grade class. The children were as excited and happy to meet their hero as he was to meet them.


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