Colonel Thanks WES Students in Person for their Generosity

Post date: Aug 27, 2014 7:24:58 PM

Shortly before summer break, Colonel Paul Dynan of the Rhode Island National Guard traveled to Wells Elementary School to visit briefly with students to thank them for all the gifts of food, letters, and other items that he and his fellow servicemen and women received while serving in Afghanistan during the holiday season of 2013.

In the courtyard of WES, Col. Dynan presented students with a “Certificate of Appreciation” from the U.S. Armed Forces for their special generosity.

“It was absolutely fantastic,” said Col. Dynan of the greeting he received by students during the brief outdoor assembly on June 16th. “The kids were great. When we received everything, all the cards and letters over in Afghanistan it was awesome. It just brought huge smiles to everyone’s faces. And just having the opportunity to come and thank them and to see them all out here, assembled for me was very touching and greatly appreciated.”

“Perfect timing,” said Col. Dynan of three of the five packages that he received on Christmas Eve. He indicated that he spent some time each day looking through all the cards and letters received. “It kind of closed the miles,” he said.

According to WES Secretary and friend of Col. Dynan, Chris Yeomelakis, Col Dynan’s tour of duty which began in June 2013 was extended. He remained on active duty until March of 2014.

“As you all may remember, back at Christmas time, a very dear friend of mine was due to come home from Afghanistan, but couldn't because his tour was extended,” wrote Yeomelakis in a message to the WES community. “To cheer him up, several of you helped me with ‘Project Christmas for Col. Dynan’. Students made cards and ornaments, wrote letters, and some staff members gave me care packages of food, little Christmas trees, etc.”

After Col. Dynan returned to New England, Yeomelakis invited him to WES to meet the students and staff who worked on Project Christmas and to hear them all welcome him home.

Col. Dynan said in an interview that local businesses and churches in the Wells-Ogunquit area also contributed to the care packages that he received from the students.

Caption: In the center from left to right is Colonel Paul Dynan, WES Principal Marianne Horne and WES Assistant Principal Ken Spinney.