Pennsauken Township school gives Army specialist, family emotional send-off

PENNSAUKEN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (WPVI) -- For military families, the time apart during deployment can be difficult.

On Monday, a Pennsauken family saw first-hand the support they'll receive while dad is serving overseas for the next nine months.

It was an emotional send-off for him and an important day for his son who is a kindergartener at Carson Elementary School.

The gymnasium was quite a patriotic place in Pennsauken Monday morning.

Students assembled to give United States Army Specialist Jim Heisler an extra-special send-off as he prepares to deploy overseas for nine months.

Heisler's 5-year-old son, Dominic, is a kindergartner at the school. This special assembly was also about him and mom, AnneMarie, and little brother Joseph. They'll need to know the community is behind them in the months ahead.

"This whole thing was for (Dominic) to know that he has the support here at school and with friends and family, it's unbelievable," said Annamarie Heisler.

"That was my goal: to make it a teachable moment for our students and to make it a memorable moment for the family and to support Dominic because he's going to need a little extra TLC next year," said Diane Joyce, principal at Carson Elementary.

Students gave Heisler letters and posters thanking him for his service--some calling him a superhero.

"It was incredible. It was nothing like I had expected. It meant a lot to my family and I. To know that there's a huge support system here, it really means a lot, " said Jim, who will be deploying in the next few days.
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