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Maplehurst kindergartners write letters to U.S. Air Force in Kuwait

Cary Ashby • Jan 21, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Sometimes Ivy Ringenberg writes letters to her sister and mother.

“They say thank you,” the 6-year-old girl said about their feedback. 

The Maplehurst Elementary kindergartner and daughter of Dan and Val also writes thank-you notes for birthday and Christmas presents.

When her fellow students in Ashley Wilson and Angela Enderle’s class wrote letters to U.S. Air Force airmen, it was a new experience for some of her classmates. 

“They gave us the words and we typed them,” Enderle said. “We talked about how some of (the airmen) wouldn’t be near their family for Christmas.”

Students in eight classes wrote to the 387 Expeditionary Group of the U.S. Air Force, which is stationed in Kuwait. In addition to Wilson and Enderle, those teachers are: Petrina Kotsopoulos, Roger Wilhelm, Katie Sholes, Amanda Steinwart, Barb Andrews and Rachel Schlotterer. The airmen recently sent the school a framed plaque of appreciation for the students’ letters.

Brandon Lieber, a 2009 Norwalk High School graduate, is a first lieutenant with the 387 Expeditionary Group. His mother is Jill Lieber, a special needs teacher’s aide at Maplehurst.

His wife, Jessica, suggested the students write the airmen.

“They were all very excited to get the letters,” said Jill Lieber, Brandon’s mother.

“He always has been a very independent, strong-willed person. He’s very proud he chose this profession,” she said.

The NHS graduate became interested in the military when he served with the ROTC program at the University of Cincinnati

“You just don’t think about what could happen (in Kuwait). He’s in good hands. He’s good at his job. We don’t dwell on what could happen,” his mother said.

Brandon has been in the U.S. Air Force since 2014.

“I think he wants to make a career out it,” his mother said. 

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