November 17, 2007

Positivity: From Iraq to Cherry Hill, a surprise visit

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:45 am

From Cherry Hill, New Jersey (HT Michelle Malkin):

Thursday, November 15, 2007

By BARBARA S. ROTHSCHILD
Courier-Post Staff
CHERRY HILL
Hunter Braun went to Cooper Elementary School Wednesday thinking he was going to give a report on what his dad does as an Army colonel stationed in Baghdad.

But as the 7-year-old, wearing his father’s spare combat boots, spoke to the student body at an impromptu assembly, Principal Mary Kline interrupted.

“Hunter, I know it’s awfully hard to do your report at an assembly like this. I thought and thought about somebody who would be the best person to help. Who could that be?” Kline asked.

Hunter’s 9-year-old sister, Rachel, didn’t know either. After all, their dad, Col. Lars Braun, was in Iraq.

Suddenly, Lars Braun strode into the multipurpose room in his Army fatigues. Faster than a soldier could snap to attention, Rachel Braun ran across the room and leaped into her father’s arms, while Hunter — still not quite believing his eyes — sauntered over for a hug.

“At first I thought, “That can’t be him. Then I thought, “It has to be him, because he doesn’t look much different,’ ” Hunter said.

He helped his dad refold an American flag the career soldier, 45, brought with him, presenting the starry triangle to Kline.

Kline planned the surprise with Rachel’s teacher, Eileen Steidle, and the children’s mom, Terri Lynn. No one was sure it would happen, since it depended on when Lars Braun would be home. Terri Lynn got the word around noon Wednesday.

“We didn’t know exactly what day he was coming home. He actually left Baghdad a few days ago,” Terri Lynn, 36, said.

The Brauns’ younger children — Josh, 5, who attends kindergarten in the morning, and Ainsley, 3 — would be surprised later in the day.

The timing turned out perfectly for Kline, who had yet another reason to celebrate. She spent Monday and Tuesday in Washington, D.C., collecting her school’s recent Blue Ribbon Award given by the federal Department of Education for consistent academic excellence.

“As our country has honored us, we want to honor our country,” she told her students.

Go here for the rest of the story.

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