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Sgt. Douglas Beaven and teacher Janine Kerry admire the plaque Beaven presented to Kerry and the school. PHOTOS BY SHANNA FORTIER
Palm Coast Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 5 years ago

Sgt. Beaven surprises class with flag

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by: Shanna Fortier Associate Editor

Janine Kerry and her first-grade class, along with a handful of her previous students at Belle Terre Elementary School, got a surprise Friday morning, when Sgt. Douglas Beaven, of the United States Army Reserves, came to visit.

Kerry’s students last year adopted Beaven as a pen pal and wrote letters to him while he was deployed to Afghanistan.

“The letters were a little ray of sunshine in a dark, dismal place,” Beaven said. “You know they’re written from little kids who are happy and in school, and then you see the kids that are in the villages over there, and they don’t have that experience. Hearing from kids at home was a breath of fresh air.”

But Beaven did not come empty handed to the school. With him he brought a plaque, which included an American Flag that he flew over Afghanistan in honor of Kerry’s class.

“I knew I wasn’t going to be able to write all the kids back and pay homage to what they did for me,” Beaven said. “So I thought this would be great for them — they can hang it in the school and admire it.”

Kerry was blindsided by the surprise and said she was beyond speechless that Beaven would present her and her class with such an honor.

“It means dedication for everyday American people who set out to make sure that we are safe, protected, our families are safe,” Kerry said. “Sgt. Beaven makes a clear connection with families back home and he never forgets anyone. It also is important this holiday season to make sure we make that connection as teachers.”

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