It’s almost 7,000 miles from Afghanistan to Maryland.
But, the kind deeds of students at a Laurel elementary school have helped bridge that gap.
“I can’t tell you what a blessing it is,” said Army Capt. Mike Eitelman.
This year, students with the Social Concerns Club at St. Mary of the Mill Catholic School did something Capt. Eitelman will not soon forget.
“Not everybody in the Army has people that write to him and her,” he said. “Lovely cards, lovely letters, and some of the world's best chocolate chip cookies. I’m not making that up, the cookies were a big hit.”
The items were parts of care packages sent to Capt. Eitelman’s team by students at the Social Concerns Club.
Wednesday, Capt. Eitelman, who is a Special Forces soldier with the Florida Army National Guard, surprised the students who encouraged his team members at some of their loneliest times.
“To receive gifts and thoughts of encouragement and your prayers and your well wishes , when we haven’t even had the chance to meet you. Its wonderful you would take the time and the resources to do something like that," he said. "We recognize that, and we’re so thankful for that from the bottom of our hearts. “
Capt. Eitelman is the son-in-law of one of the teachers at the school. He presented the students a certificate of appreciation, and a message to maintain their effort.
“I pray you would continue to have that spirit of generosity," he said, "that spirit of charity, that spirit of love, because I've felt it and my friends have felt it, and it’s a wonderful thing.”