By Renee Reese, Fort Stewart Public AffairsMay 5, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - School teacher, partners with singer/songwriter to create music celebrating the pride military children have for their military parents.
What began as a writing project, turned into a performance for Soldiers and Family Members during the school's parent teacher association meeting at Diamond Elementary school, April 28.
Second graders began singing the first verse to the song in front of a standing room only crowd despite gloomy weather conditions.
"The school day begins with the pledge of allegiance and I wish you were back home with me. And meanwhile a half world lies in between us, as you serve with the 3rd ID. With a wink and a smile and a tear in your eye you went off to do what you do. Now each brand new day you are missed even more, but we're even more proud of you."
Teacher Marsha Barker began working with her students in 2008 to help create the song. She allowed her students to openly share their feelings, allowing Marlin Barker, her husband, to then capture their feelings and put their words to music.
"The standard song writing procedure is to get words or phrases that go along with a particular idea and then you work from there and put them into a song format," Marlin said. "I sat down in class and asked questions about how they feel when their parents are gone."
"He wrote the words, played the instruments and recorded the song," added Marsha. "It became a gift to my students in 2008 and we made them compact disks dedicated to their Soldiers in the 3rd ID. You always hear about the adult's viewpoint on how they feel. I said have you ever heard about how the children feel."
During this school term, all second graders were given the opportunity to learn the words of the song with hopes of performing in front of their Soldier. Children proudly displayed welcome home signs during the performance.
"The song is about the Soldiers serving in Iraq and how we feel about our dad's leaving to serve our country," said Elizabeth Hunter, a student whose dad returned home in October 2010. "I feel happy that they are serving and also sad that they have to leave their Family."
Children received a standing ovation from Soldiers and Family Members, some who recently re-deployed.
"I was proud of all the kids, they did such a good job," parent and PTA vice-president Allison Hunter said. "Mrs. Barker has worked so hard and I'm sure that everyone in the audience was just as proud and it made them feel good."
The Barker's have written additional songs like "Daddy's Little Girl" that reflect a Soldier saying goodbye to his children.
"I want kids to take something positive away from music," Marlin said. "Music is a universal language; you hear the same songs in England, France and Germany. The lyrics are a little different but the music is the all the same."