Parkway students asking community to help spread christmas cheer to airmen

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Pictured left to right: Brianna Cooley, Andrew Powers, and Siera Patton. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

Two Parkway High School students are asking the community to be a part of a movement to help members of the military.

To lift spirits of young airmen from across the country, soon to be stationed around the world, Bossier City’s Brianna Cooley and Siera Patton developed a simple way to show them they are valued and their service has not gone unnoticed.

Cooley and Patton are asking the Bossier community to help provide 6,500-plus holiday and “thank you” cards for the young men and women at Air Force Basic Training in San Antonio, Texas. 

“We need the help of our community. We think this project will open many discussions on service, dedication, and patriotism,” said Patton.

Roughly 700 airmen enlist in the Air Force each week. During their 2-month training, they aren’t given any days off, not even Christmas. 

“When my brother was in basic training, we had to write letters because we had no contact with him for eight weeks while he was away. Some are lucky enough that they can call their families for like, three minutes when they are in training,” said Cooley. 

Cooley’s brother, Andrew Powers, says it was a big boost to receive letters and cards from his family. But, he noted that some of his peers who where in basic training with him did not receive letters at all from their families.

“It was refreshing to receive a card from my family when I was in basic training. It’s the only sort of satisfaction you have other than food,” Powers said. “A lot of people don’t get letters.”

He added, “If you know an airman, ask them what it was like when they were in basic training. It will change your perspective on sending someone a card.”

All cards are due by Dec. 4 for personal delivery to Lackland Air Force Base for the Christmas season.

Cards and letters can be dropped off at the Bossier Educational Service Center, 2900 Douglas Dr., Bossier City.