Police Foundations program students from professor Mary Carr’s Fitness course pose with Corporal Christopher Russell, a 2006 Durham College Police Foundations graduate and 2010 Alumni of Distinction Award winner, after handing over letters bound for Kandahar, Afghanistan.
April 19, 2011
Although the war in the Middle East may seem like a world away, for students in professor Mary Carr’s Fitness course its impact is felt closer to home thanks to a visit from Corporal Christopher Russell, a 2006 Durham College Police Foundations graduate and 2010 Alumni of Distinction Award winner. Russell visited the class this past January to speak about the importance of physical and emotional health and his experiences patrolling in Kandahar, Afghanistan as a military police officer.
Carr reconnected with Russell, who now serves in the Canadian Forces Military Police in Petawawa, Ont. after spending September 2008 to April 2009 serving in Kandahar. During their conversation, Russell spoke about incorporating his experiences overseas into one of
Carr’s courses, emphasizing the importance of ensuring soldiers keep in touch with their family and friends at home.
Carr welcomed the opportunity to make a difference for individuals serving overseas and decided to have her class write letters to soldiers as part of a class project. After nearly a semester of learning what it means to be a soldier, the letters were handed over to Russell to send overseas on March 31.
“For 10 to 12 weeks the students wrote a letter a week to the same soldier,” explained Carr. “Those letters went into an envelope and are being sent to Afghanistan so soldiers over there can have a little piece of home.”
The letters were addressed to any Canadian soldier and delivered to Canada House in Kandahar, where Canadian mail is received and troops can go to relax. Russell said the letters will be left there for any soldier to read.
The response was fantastic, with some students opening their hearts and lives to these soldiers through their letters.
“I think the students understand that what they are doing is going to be well received,” said Russell. “The people who read the letters are going to appreciate them and care about the time and effort they put into sending them.”