By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
BROKEN ARROW, OK -- A veteran of the war in Afghanistan thanked some young people on Wednesday for staying in touch. It was the letters from home that an airman says helped him make it through some tough times in the war.
Major Bob Baird went to Afghanistan as a military advisor.
"What I was sent over there to do as a military advisor, we were training the Afghan Army," said Major Bob Baird.
But, Major Baird came back to Broken Arrow as a pen pal.
"He sent some letters that answered a whole lot of questions and he answered one of mine," said 7th grader Zach Rowan.
Dr. Loretta Lafon's reading class sent letters to him while he was in Afghanistan. His visit to Haskell Middle School in Broken Arrow is a return on the favor.
"But, I wanted to come back and tell you face to face thank you for what you did. It made a difference. They came at a time that for me was really hard and knowing that some people back home are thinking of us, I passed them around to my roommates and it made a difference, so thank you," said Major Bob Baird.
Baird serves as a reservist out of Tinker Air Force Base. He came home in February and brought with him some souvenirs like native hats that make good props for a speech to young people.
He says the young people helped him keep a connection with home.
"The little things that come over mean the most. There were many packages I received anonymously from people just some of the most beautiful articulate letters you could ever read in your entire life," said Major Bob Baird.
Baird took the flag with him on his tour and came back with letters he says he'll keep forever, reminders of Broken Arrow he got in Afghanistan.
Even with all the emails and webcams available to soldiers and their families today, Major Baird said it was those hand made and mailed cards and letters that meant the most.