NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A local soldier took some time Thursday to thank a group of East Village school children who supported him during a deployment to Afghanistan.
Army Major Roderick Cassidy received a standing ovation from students at Immaculate Conception School after returning from a nine-month deployment. The students sent Cassidy hundreds of care packages and letters while he was away.
“Some of them would also say ‘we are praying for you every day’ and I just thought to myself that it is fantastic to have all these people, who you’ve never even met, praying for me every day. What greater gift can they give you while you’re over there?” he told CBS 2′s Cindy Hsu.
The students were thrilled to hear that Major Cassidy shared all of their care packages with other soldiers.
“There were some people over there who didn’t have family and just to give them comfort, that way they wouldn’t feel sad or bad,” said seventh grader Brian Sanchez.
For some, writing to the major helped them better understand the upcoming holiday.
“Memorial Day means celebrating the warriors who have fallen and praying for them and other warriors that are still serving in the war,” explained fifth grader Nadia Darson.
To thank the students Major Cassidy sent them a flag that flew in Afghanistan for 9 minutes and 11 seconds, in honor of those who died on Sept. 11, 2001.
Cassidy, who has served in the National Guard and Army Reserve for more than 17 years, told CBS 2 that he wants to make sure that no one forgets the sacrifices of those who gave their lives, and the many who are still waiting to come home.
Now that he is back home, Major Cassidy has returned to his job as a lawyer for the Archdiocese of New York.
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