The General And The School TeacherPosted: Updated:
Two high school classmates who went their separate ways over the last 35 years came together at a class reunion Friday night, and during the last year they've done more than just keep in touch.
He is a general in the Marines who just returned from the front line in Afghanistan. She is a teacher at Fort Defiance High School who, along with her students, sent thousands of care packages overseas to his unit and many more.
Bruce Hemp and General Larry Nicholson reunited Friday night at the Augusta Military Academy reunion held at the Holiday Inn in Staunton. When Nicholson left for a tour of duty in Afghanistan last June, Hemp, with the help of her students, began sending care packages of food and supplies to Marines.
Within weeks, Nicholson says Hemp's good deed wasn't just reaching the soldiers. General Nicholson says, "It very quickly turned into a major operation with more than 150 packages, and it almost transitioned between just for the Marines, and it started becoming for the Afghan kids.
Hemp says, "It's about making a difference. Making a difference in the lives of people who are less fortunate than we are, and making a difference in the lives of the Marines, some who are putting there lives on the line everyday while we're here in the Shenandoah Valley sitting in the lap of luxury."
Hemp was honored with a medal from the Augusta Military Academy Alumni Association for her service.
During his time on the ground, General Nicholson helped to open schools for Afghani children, and included in Hemp's care packages hundreds of pounds of school supplies for thousands of kids.