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Class Project Leads to Memorable Reunion, Two Decades Later

"I was drawing from the heart and just put this in the packet with the rest of the stuff," said Smith Jr. "I figured somebody will find it and I hope somebody could enjoy it."

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A class assignment turned into something that one student will never forget.

It was a class assignment back in 1991 when Wayne Smith Jr., a 4th grader at John Humberd Elementary in Cumberland, drew a picture for someone serving in the Persian Gulf War.

"I was drawing from the heart and just put this in the packet with the rest of the stuff," said Smith Jr. "I figured somebody will find it and I hope somebody could enjoy it."

Air Force Staff Sergeant David Simpson was the first to receive it. He also happens to be from Cumberland. Simpson says he kept the picture with him, and not too long ago he called Smith to thank him.

"How does it happen but I'm honored that he reached out to me," said Smith Jr. "I'm still kind of shaken up, it's exciting but it’s a good feeling."

Now Simpson lives in Winchester, he's meeting smith for the first time to show his gratitude after so many years.

"You don't know what could happen the next day and to get something from back home, it makes you feel loved, cared for and not forgotten. Because when you are gone you have a sense that your life back home suddenly stops," said Simpson.

Simpson showed Smith the picture and shared his air force stories. It’s was a moment in time for the airman and the student.

"It's a great experience finally getting to meet him, he's awesome, especially he comes from my hometown Cumberland, Maryland," said Smith Jr.

"It means a lot to meet Wayne, to say thank you to somebody who has grown, that could remember years back that act of kindness," said Simpson.  "They did it just to say hey, it really did mean something."

Today, Simpson is a nurse for Valley Health in Winchester, while Smith is pursuing a career in film production.

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