Military officer moved by Dry Creek students’ letters

2nd Lt. Austin Bailey of the U.S. Army takes a photo with Carrie Anders’ class at Dry Creek Elementary School, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. DANIEL LEON/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

2nd Lt. Austin Bailey, a 2011 graduate of Buchanan High School, stopped by his former elementary school last Thursday to thank a group of students for their support.

Bailey received the pair of hand-written letters last month as part of a care package from Central Valley Blue Star Moms that included non-perishable food items, toiletries and stationery.

As it turned out, some of those letters were written by students at Dry Creek Elementary.

“To open up a box full of letters from kids from the school I went to, it meant even more,” said Bailey. “I know that Clovis has a really strong patriotic community, and I thought I would give back and help foster that and maybe inspire some of these kids to follow my footsteps one day.”

Bailey, who is stationed in Georgia but returned home for Christmas, engaged in a Q&A session, recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sung The Army Song with students during his 30-minute visit. He also presenting the class with Army flag patches.

“It was definitely a really unique and interesting experience,” he added. “I’m not use to the fanfare of it. In Georgia, everybody wears [military uniforms] so it’s not a big deal. But, when you come here, and you see all these bright and smiling faces, it’s really inspiring and makes me feel good about what I do.”

Daniel Leon
A native of Woodlake, Daniel Leon is a recent graduate of Fresno State with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism. Daniel served as Sports Editor at The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper, prior to joining the Roundup. Got a story idea? Email him at