Ten-year-old Kevin Steinmeyer is proud to be an American - so much that it recently earned him a letter from the president.
Ten-year-old Kevin Steinmeyer shows off the letter and photograph he received from President Bush, who wrote Kevin praising the Augusta Christian pupil's writing assignment that his teacher had sent to the president.
Photo by Rob Carr
"I'm thankful to be an American because we have freedom," the Evans pupil wrote in a journal assignment in his fourth-grade class at Augusta Christian Schools last spring. "I think we take a lot of things for granted. The best two things about being an American is being able to worship without being persecuted and being able to sleep without the sound of gunfire at night."
Inspired by his patriotic message, Kevin's teacher, Debra Canway, typed Kevin's journal entry and mailed it to President Bush.
Four months after the letter was mailed in February, Kevin received an envelope from the White House.
"Thank you for sharing your views and suggestions. I always enjoy hearing from young Americans," the letter with the White House seal and Bush's signature stated. "As you continue your studies, I hope you will strive to learn something new every day. I also encourage you to set high goals, study hard, and help others in need.''
In addition to the letter, Kevin received two pictures of Bush and first lady Laura Bush and their two Scottish terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley.
Although it wasn't Kevin's first time receiving a letter in the mail, he said "it felt good" receiving a letter from the president.
"It's cool," he said, adding that he respects Bush because of his stance on controversial issues such as the war on terrorism and stem-cell research.
Kevin's father, Mike, and his mother, Tammy, said they're proud of their son. They said they credit his maternal grandparents for influencing him to stay up to date on current events.
"They watch the news all the time, and when he visits with them, he watches it with them," Mrs. Steinmeyer said. "They're the ones that molded his little mind."
To show his appreciation for Bush's gifts, Kevin said, his next assignment is to return the favor.
"I'm going to write a thank-you letter to President Bush, and I'm going to send him a picture of my family ... and my dog," he said.
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