Albany-- One 3rd Infantry Divison solider is happy to be home. But even while Albany native Lt. Eric Hooper was thousands of miles away fighting in Iraq, he still got a taste of South Georgia. And he stopped by one school to talk about it.
Five months ago, South Georgia children kept busy shipping out care packages to soldiers far away.
Lt. Hooper says, "The packages had everything in them a variety of things." This beat up box is one that didn't make it all the way to Iraq, but its contents are typical of what Lt. Eric Hooper got, " I liked the hometown sweets personally. I would give away Bobs Candies to my guys and tell them how great it was to be from Albany."
And Lt. Hooper wanted to thank some Albany students for remembering him, "I got letters from everywhere, especially the people in Albany Georgia, I got wonderful letters."
Lt. Hooper spoke to fourth and fifth graders at Lake Park Elementary. They had lots of questions and lots of thanks too. 5th Grader Shannon Doherty says, "Well yes I mostly want to thank them and tell them how much I appreciate it."
That appreciation is reciprocated. Hooper says packages like these kept him going, "In fact the biggest boost to your spirit and morale in Iraq is receiving mail from home." A little bit of home in a box that meant so much to this soldier.
Hooper says he didn't receive half of the packages that people sent him. But, even while he was battling Iraqi's, Hooper managed to send thank-you notes for the care packages.