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Schoolchildren, Legion get thanks from soldiers in Iraq

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SHIRLEY — Veterans applauded as Sgt. Sean Flynn, of Company H, 121st Infantry, presented a certificate of appreciation to Shirley Middle School Principal Ruthann Goguen and the Shirley Legion as thanks for the Christmas cards and care packages sent to his company during the holidays.

Goguen was invited to the War Memorial Building on March 6 to accept the certificate on behalf of Flynn’s unit, which is still in Iraq.

“I’m glad I got to be here and that the timing worked out,” said Flynn, who is on leave from his service overseas.

A graduate of the Shirley Middle School, Flynn thanked Goguen and the local veterans who helped set up the Support Our Troops project.

He said everything that was sent to his company was a great help because of how isolated the soldiers were during the holidays. The packages and cards helped lift our spirits, he said.

“Everything you sent us was eaten,” said Flynn, referring to all of the cookies in the packages. “We actually fed some of the cookies to the Iraqis we work with.”

The kids had a lot of fun, said Goguen. She invited Flynn to meet the students if he has time during his brief leave.

The invitation to visit the middle school was extended to the other veterans as well.

“The children would love to see you and need to hear your stories,” said Goguen.

She also thanked Flynn for what his unit has done in Iraq for the kids.

Flynn said they’re not done yet, but they’ll keep going.

“I don’t know what we can do to repay (you and the students),” said Flynn. “(You) gave so much. I want to talk to the kids, at least. Everyone went so above and beyond.”

While he’s on leave, Flynn plans to set up more correspondence between his unit and the middle-schoolers, so they can send more letters back and forth.

Flynn served in the Marines from 1992 to 1996, and re-enlisted after Sept. 11, 2001, in the reserves, where he is now. When Flynn returns to Iraq, he will be serving there for another six or seven months.

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