March 31, 2011

Letters from home

By Michael Johnson, Editor

He was just a sixth-grade student at Underwood Elementary when he decided to join the army. It was shortly after 9/11 and Torin Kolke felt the urge to protect his country then more than ever. His parents, Del and Tim say he talked about being in the army since about age 5. No wonder he’s now inspiring other young locals to do the same. Kolke has been deployed since Jan. 31, 2011, as an army ranger for the Special Forces of the United States Army. Though Kolke is now 6,700 miles from home in the Lowgar Province of Afghanistan, his messages by mail are instilling the importance of serving in the minds of students at Underwood High School. In a class of about 14 junior high students, about 80 percent raised their hand when their teacher, Patti Lawson asked whether they were interested in serving their country in the army or similar form. All of the students have been in contact with Kolke. It’s something that Lawson feels is very encouraging. Lawson is joined by student teacher Laney Kabanuck and English teacher Nita Anderson in their lessons that have been connected through the theme of soldiers.


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