Buckeye pupils help classmate, soldier

BRILLIANT – A table in Linda Bartrug’s fourth-grade classroom at Buckeye North Elementary School was covered Tuesday with boxes of cheese crackers, potato chips, gum, pudding cups, toothpaste and crossword puzzle books.

The donations were ready to be packed to be sent to Army Capt. Cody Sherlock, who’s brother, Cameron Grabits, is a pupil in Bartrug’s room.

Sherlock is stationed in Afghanistan, and Grabit’s mother, Carla, headed up the packing project involving the entire class.

She had some of the pupils folding and taping up boxes, while some wrote customs labels and some packed the boxes. Others wrote letters to Sherlock.

“You know how you pack suitcases to get in as much as possible when you go away? We need to do this with these boxes, as it is quite costly to mail them and we want to get them packed as well as possible,” Carla Grabits told the pupils.

She also explained to the class that her son’s base was losing its PX, where food and other items can be purchased. She also said the buildings where the soldiers live soon will be unavailable, and the servicemen and women will live in tents, as the Army is downsizing.

“They are taking showers in a big plastic bag. It isn’t the best way to take a shower but they are working 15 hours a day and doing many other things so we can all be free,” Carla Grabits told the children.

“They look forward to the treats and needed health products that are sent but it takes two weeks to get there, so sometimes they do without,” she said.

Sherlock graduated from the University of Cincinnati in its ROTC program and was in active duty in 2008. He was in Iraq in 2009 and now is in Afghanistan.

Bartrug said her pupils used the military contribution as a class project. She noted she is familiar with Sherlock as he was in her second-grade class at Buckeye North.

“We will do the project again around Easter,” the teacher said.