Young boy's letter to veterans stands out among the rest

Young boy's letter to veterans stands out among the rest
By: Crystal Britt
FRUITLAND, Mo. - Every year, hundreds of letters from school children pour in to the Cape Girardeau Veterans Home. But, this past Veterans Day one card from a third grader at North Elementary School in Fruitland stood out among the rest. So, Wednesday those Veterans showed their appreciation to that special boy, and his classmates.
It was a special assignment, one carefully laid out by the third grade teachers to write a letter to the Veterans. The children took pride in the task, and like the other 49 students Kaden Eftink carefully began putting pencil to paper. His card titled "Thank You For Fighting For Freedom." Kaden reads a portion, "Dear Veteran, thank you for fighting for the USA--our country. I know what it's like losing a soldier, because I lost my mom." At the beginning of the school year Kaden's mom Lori died after a lengthy illness. It was an unimaginable time for an eight year old. "She was pretty, and she was nice", said Kaden. "I think he was reaching out to them and letting them know he appreciated everything they did for our country. Plus,  letting them know he understands what it's like to lose someone", said Mike Eftink-Kaden's Dad. 
"It did touch my heart, I think it touched everyone's heart. It was quite compelling, and different you know", said Robert Bunn-Veteran. It was so different, it inspired two Veterans to give back, just as the young boy did. Robert Bunn and Tommy Thompson came to Kaden's classroom and answered a host of questions, including one Kaden asked toward the end of his heartfelt card. Kaden wrote, "What's your uniform look like?."
Robert Bunn sat proudly in front of the boys and girls in his American Legion attire. 86 year old Tommy Thompson wore his Navy uniform with the same pair of shoes he bought in 1962 before leaving the service. "I really enjoyed it, the nicest bunch of young kids like this", said Thompson. 
The children learned a lot, but the Veterans and teachers learned a real lesson- one you won't find in any text book. "It meant a lot to the kids, so it meant a lot to us too", said Claire Staniszewski-Kaden's Teacher. It meant even more to Mike Eftink who's doing the best he can as a single father. "Oh, I'm very proud".