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Troops thank Ennis girl for caring about them

Cheyenne Smith warms hearts of U.S. soldiers in Iraq
Recently Cheyenne Smith touched the hearts of Ennis Daily News readers with the self-sacrifice she displayed when she requested that guests at her seventh birthday party not bring gifts for her, but treats for soldiers stationed in Iraq.
She didn’t care to have the latest toy or doll; she just wanted to provide “a little bit of home” for America’s troops overseas.
“She really is a smart kid, and understands what the soldiers are doing over there,” said Cheyenne’s mother Carla Smith. “So she knows they can’t just go to the store and get stuff that reminds them of home. She wanted to send them what she thought they would miss as a thank you for everything they do for all of us back home.”
Cheyenne received two big boxes of treats at her party. This gently-packed collection of cookies, chips and snack cakes was mailed to a Smith family friend in Iraq, Colonel Larry Fleishman, also of Ennis. Although there is a local Treats for Troops campaign, sponsored by the First Christian Church of Ennis, the Smiths’ effort was privately arranged.
Cheyenne’s presents duly arrived in Iraq where an appreciative command were so moved by her generosity that they are sending her back a personal thank you as well as a statement shared exclusively with the Ennis Daily News.
“This is one of the more selfless acts I have witnessed here from people,” said Sgt Zachary Reavis of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. “She did not just throw something in a box. She actually had people bring things for her birthday, rather than gifts for herself. That’s pretty impressive.”
Another soldier from the same unit praised Cheyenne for her actions.
“When I heard what Cheyenne had done it warmed my heart,” said Command Sgt. Major J. Dean Bridges.
“Here was a young girl of seven years who understands more about freedom than some adults. She understands that freedom is a sacrifice and was willing to give up her birthday presents to support soldiers away from home. For me that makes Cheyenne the real hero, I wish I could give her an award for her support. Thanks Cheyenne you are a true American. I salute you.”
Col. Fleishman added he can’t wait to get home to thank Cheyenne.
“It’s always great to get something from home,” he said. “Soldiers share packages, and I shared Cheyenne’s package with soldiers from the Brigade’s Command Group and J1 (Personnel) Section. I look forward to getting back to Ennis and thanking her in person.”
As well as expressing their thanks for her gifts, the command has sent Cheyenne a certificate of thanks, a commemorative coin and another special surprise for being so thoughtful.
Her mother said her daughter will be overwhelmed when she hears the news.
“She will be very excited that they appreciated what she sent them,” Smith said. “She will love knowing the soldiers got the snacks and enjoyed them like she does. She really felt bad because they couldn’t get treats and it was from the goodness of her heart that she sent them. Knowing they enjoyed them will be so special to her.”
Smith said her daughter has remained humble in the wake of the attention her story received from the community, and thinks the gratitude of the troops will not only make her happy but encourage her to keep up the good work.
“She has had lots of community support because of this but she wonders why everyone thinks what she did is a big deal,” Smith laughed.
“I think this will help her understand, and receiving a thank you from the soldiers is the best lesson she could learn from the whole thing.”

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Posted by on Jun 26 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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