Charmain Z. Brackett
AUGUSTA, Ga.--(June 15, 2009) The son of a World War II veteran, Deke Copenhaver, Augusta mayor, understands the importance of service to country and the sacrifices today's military Families make.
"I'm nothing more than a public servant. I'm here to help you and your Families," said the mayor who read the story Sam The Army Dog to a group of children at the Child Development Center June 16 in honor of the Army's birthday on June 14.
Written by the Department the Army, the book is about a dog belonging to an Army Family. The father is a staff sergeant, and the mother works in a child development center on an Army post.
Sam wants to do something important. He dreams of being part of the Military Police K9 program and being a Dalmatian in the Army firehouse, but he's not able to do that.
Finally on the Army's birthday, his Family takes him to the hospital, where he visits the patients and brings them joy. On his visit, he also meets a volunteer dog, and Sam learns that he can be an Army dog by going to the hospital as a volunteer. In addition to reading the story, Copenhaver told the children a little bit about his job as mayor.
He opened the floor for questions. Two of the children told the mayor they were big.
He laughed and told them that he's interviewed on television and by the media a lot, and when people see him publicly they sometimes tell him they thought he was bigger than he is.
Reading to children is one of the fun tasks, he performs as mayor, Copenhaver said.
"I love to read to children. It's neat to know the children know who the mayor is. It's one of my favorite things to do."
In addition to the story, there was a puppet show in Cosmo's Corner, an outreach of Army Community Service. The short show gave a little history lesson on the Army birthday and the flag. Flag Day is also June 14.