Adopted soldier visits Sapulpa school

Wednesday, January 25th 2006, 9:55 am
By: News On 6

A hero's welcome for a soldier just back from Iraq. A Sapulpa elementary school welcomed back their pen pal Wednesday and he was there to thank them.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says at a school named "Freedom," every day is patriotic and Captain Lance Turlington came to thank students for supporting soldiers.

"And we got lots of mail from Freedom Elementary so I want to say thank you for all the letters and cards and care packages." Captain Turlington spent the last year in Iraq, as a lawyer for the US Army.

The children spent the last year writing him and 40 other soldiers in his unit. Freedom student Megan Patterson: "We were worried that he would get hurt, but we had him in our thoughts and our prayers, we were praying for him." Freedom student Abigail McVicker: "We wrote him back and forth."

Freedom Elementary has a long history of supporting the troops, like their “defenders of freedom wall.” All the students were glad to see one come back home.

Captain Lance Turlington: "And I have some Iraqi money that I got for you." Captain Turlington brought souvenirs to thank the children for all those letters. They wanted to know all about the money and about that uniform covered with ribbons and commendations. He explained every one. And they found out Turlington spent a few nights in Saddam Hussein's palace. "He built lots of palaces." And they got a lesson on what's happening in Iraq, from someone who has been there.

Captain Turlington says he's happy to be home - and there's a school full of kids happy he's home too.

Captain Turlington is a Sapulpa native now stationed in California. He will likely be sent back to Iraq, but he doesn't know when. Freedom Elementary selected him as a pen pal - because he's the principal’s son.