AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A group of students from St. Andrews Episcopal School are back from Washington D.C. with a very special gift for a very deserving person.
Janet Stewart was four-months old when her father was killed in Vietnam. She only knows him through the accounts of others.
“From what I understand, he was a really great guy. He was really laid back, easy going, had a great sense of humor. Everybody liked him,” said Stewart.
Janet has pictures of her dad and memorabilia from the war and has even seen a cherished video interview in which he talks about his baby girl.
There is one thing Janet has never seen-his name on the Vietnam War Memorial Wall.
She didn’t know if she ever would but for Janet, that all changed out of the blue this week because of a group of 6th graders.
“I’ve been taking children to DC for a few years and each year that we walk by, it’s been moving. Last year’s group, I decided I wanted to make a connection," said Dawnya Bryant, a 6th grade teacher at St. Andrews Episcopal. "I wanted the kids to have a connection so we started a project last year and what we do is we research someone, we try to find a name that is on the wall that we can have a connection to. But I always urge the children to go home and ask their parents if they have any kind of connection to a person.”
Through a parent, a coworker connection with Janet was made.
“I’m a history buff and I’ve traveled to Vietnam with some veterans and toured old battlefields with them, and through that got to visiting with Janet at work and found out her father was killed over there. Hank was looking, asked if I had anybody that had a connection and thought Janet with her father not coming back was as connected as you could get to that war,”said Daniel Bradley, Janet’s coworker and father to 6th grade student Hank Bradley.
“I didn’t expect it, he said that they might get a rubbing of my Dad’s name,” said Janet.
The St. Andrews 6th grade trip to Washington now had even more of a special purpose.
“They are really excited to bring it back to Janet and just the feeling she is going to have,”said Dawnya.
“I hope that she really enjoys it because I don’t think she has ever been to the wall,” said Hank Bradley.
The class presented Janet with an etching of her father’s name from the wall on Thursday morning.
“Hank did a rubbing and he brought this back to present to her,”said Dawnya.
“It’s really appreciative that they did this and I feel really honored,” said Janet.
It’s just amazing how things evolve sometimes. What started off as an educational project led to an unexpected blessing for a special person here in Amarillo. It’s just good news.