Students, parents, faculty and staff members of Akiba Academy have been making frequent visits to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport as part of their “caring community” commitment to show respect and offer heartfelt thanks to the members of our military forces serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and other military bases around the world.
Last month, a large contingent of third- and fifth-grade students made its way to DFW to enthusiastically greet our peace protectors, carrying colorful signs of welcome and ample good wishes. This mitzvah did not go unnoticed.
Mr. Joe Schneider, a member of the Welcome Home a Hero organization, took the time to write a note to Rabbi Zev Silver of Akiba, following this visit:
“Thank you for bringing out all those wonderful children to welcome home our soldiers. As you probably know, our soldiers appreciate it very much and it means a lot to them when we show our support. I have posted a picture of your students’ greetings on our Web site, http://www.welcomehomeahero.com under the area ‘Support Groups.’ Hope to see you guys soon, thanks.”
Akiba’s General Studies Resource Janeen Chattaway had her own very important, personal reasons to travel to the airport that same week: the safe return of her son, Chief Warrant Officer II Stephen Chattaway, from a tour of duty in Iraq.
A Black Hawk Helicopter pilot who visited Akiba’s students on campus on Monday, Dec. 14, Stephen had just arrived for a two-week furlough, and returned to the war zone on Dec. 24, where his tour of duty will run until early May.
He was given a hearty welcome home and thanks for his service to our country.