Head Start and Early Head Start children at Maben had a special visitor last Thursday.
Major Donnie Joe Hurt visited their classrooms and presented American flags to each. He also read stories to the youngsters, answered their questions and talked a little about life in a foreign country.
Hurt said each flag had been placed inside a compartment in a drone and flown over Afghanistan.
He pointed out Afghanistan on a globe and talked a bit about favorite foods there (goat and lamb meat, pomegranates).
Meetings with Afghans usually involve drinking tea, he explained. “The last thing you talk about is business,” Hurt said.
Major Hurt had visited the Head Start before.
“I love talking to the kids,” he said.
Hurt has been in the U.S. Army for 13 years.
He was a senior in high school, he noted, when a guest speaker talked to him about the Army and West Point.
“It kind of appealed to me,” he remarked.
It’s a decision he is glad he made.
“My job provides an opportunity to do meaningful work every day,” Hurt stated.
He has been to Afghanistan several times for periods of 10 to 12 months.
Hurt has also been to Korea, Germany and Iraq.
“Korea was really interesting,” he commented. “In Iraq and Afghanistan, (we were there) for rebuilding.”
Hurt’s mother, Sue Bratton,an employee at the Head Start, says Wyoming Countians have been very supportive of her son.
Churches, businesses, the Pineville Masonic Lodge (of which Hurt is a member) have sent him care packages.
“They’re always asking if he needs something,” she commented. “We appreciate the support from the community.
“You have to support your troops,” Bratton added.
Hood will be inducted into the Oceana High School Hall of Fame in May.