Niles school welcomes home soldier


A soldier returned to Michiana from the Middle East Friday and was welcomed home by an entire school.

The whole student body at Brandywine Elementary in Niles held a homecoming ceremony to welcome back army soldier Joey Steenbeke.

One of the fifth grade teachers there is friends with the soldier and asked her class to support him while he was away.

Soon the entire school was involved and adopted Steenbeke's entire unit.

They've been sending over supplies, including his favorite snacks, since last fall. And now they were just waiting for him to come home.

Cindy Boughton is a Brandywine Elementary teacher and organized the soldier homecoming, “I think it’s really important as teachers that we just don't teach everything from the book, but we teach community service. We usually do a bake sale at the center for the homeless and this was something else that came our way.”

A select group of students had a chance to ask Steenbeke about his time in Afghanistan.

He also thanked them for all of the food they sent.


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