Tuesday evening in Afghanistan, four soldiers, including Lt. Ben Hurley, watched a private concert by Attea Middle School's sixth grade choir. The kids sang "Dona Nobis Pacem," which is Latin for "Grant Us Peace," over Skype. With the time difference, it was 8:00 a.m. in Glenview.
Choir teacher Elena Ryan is friends with Hurley, and he told her about a few troops who needed their spirits lifted. So Hurley started a letter writing campaign, collecting notes from 140 students throughout the school that she'll send, along with snacks and candy, to troops overseas.
"I think it's a really nice thing to do," a student named Sophia said.
"It's nice to see that they're happy," a student named Michael said after the video.
The choir participates in annual programs to support the community, according to Ryan.
"I teach the kids that choir is more than music," she said. "I think this helps them understand something else is going on."
Students asked the soldiers questions about daily life in Afghanistan and what they miss about home. The troops' answers ranged from family to Oreos, to one soldier who can't wait to get home and drive his car.
"I miss driving and I'm going to get in my car and go real fast for a long time," he said.
As the video call wrapped up, the choir waved goodbye and thanked the soldiers for their service.
"We're doing a little something for you and you're doing something amazing for us," Ryan said.