Manuel Gastulo, first-grade teacher at Johnson Elementary, gave his students an opportunity to write thank you letters to soldiers in the military before the holidays. After the letters were written, the campus reached out to Susan Mullikin, diagnostician secretary at Hambrick Middle School, who has a daughter in the military, for assistance in getting the letters to military personnel. Mullikin’s daughter Erin Mullikin is also a MacArthur High School graduate and is currently at the Naval Weapons Station in Earle, New Jersey. 

Excited to hear about the letters, E. Mullikin, ensured the student’s letters would make it to soldiers. The military personnel were thrilled about the letters and thought it was a kind gesture for a teacher and his students to think about them around the holidays.

The soldiers decided that they wanted to write letters back to the students for Christmas and surprise them with a pizza party. E. Mullikin, flew in from the Naval Weapons Station to surprise the Johnson Elementary students with pizza, drinks and cupcakes. She also brought personalized Christmas cards for each of the students who wrote a letter to them.

“I am so grateful for the kindness that our students demonstrated,” Pamela Riggans-Johnson, Johnson Elementary principal said. “We are appreciative of the Naval Weapons Station service men and women who took the time to serve our nation and our community as well.” 

The students thanked E. Mullikin for her service to our country and for “keeping them safe.”