Soldier presents students with flag

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Sgt. First Class Charleen Crenshaw presents Firm Foundation Preschoolers with an American flag. The flag was flown over the U.S. base in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

RONAN — It is not everyday that students of the Firm Foundations Preschool in Ronan get to look at pictures of camels and airplanes, but Wednesday morning was an exception.

Sgt. First Class Charleen Crenshaw returned home from Kandahar, Afghanistan on Oct. 25 and amid sharing photos and her experiences with the preschoolers, Crenshaw also brought  one of the American flags that flew over Afghanistan.

While it appeared the students were mostly interested in hearing about what kind of car Crenshaw drove while stationed overseas, (a Scorpion car, sold mostly in India) she was also able to talk about what being a soldier is all about.

Crenshaw worked an the Base Post Office as the Unit Non Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC). During the year she was stationed in Afghanistan, Crenshaw was responsible for the officers that delivered mail to the other outposts.

Crenshaw recalled an incident where one of her officers forgot his “Pitney Bowes,” one of the keys used for opening the mail-safes.

She said, “he did push-ups for me” which Firm Foundations teacher Leah Brown helpfully explained to the children, “ was the Army’s version of a time-out.”  

Crenshaw explained to the students the significance of the flag as well as what each of her numerous “ribbons” signified. She shared that some ribbons represent things such as basic training and being overseas four times,  and others represented serving during two major conflicts and being in the service after 9-11.

 After serving for nearly 19 years, Crenshaw is glad to be home. “I missed my family, and was glad to get out of that environment.” Crenshaw said. Crenshaw brought back twenty-four flags that flew over Afghanistan for friends and family.

Sgt. First Class Charleen Crenshaw explains what her ribbons stand for on Wednesday morning in Ronan.

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