Vets throw birthday party for 7-year-old LILA student

Members of the Forest Lake VFW and American Legion delivered a birthday surprise to LILA first-grader Savannah Hartinger, whose father Eric is deployed in Afghanistan. Front row: Shannon Hartinger, Savannah Hartinger (holding photo of her father in uniform), El Ewert and Keith Crist. Back row: Roger Fredsall, Marvin Aho, Ron Miller, Richard Weber and Gene Wichelmann. (Photo submitted)

Members of the Forest Lake VFW and American Legion delivered a birthday surprise to LILA first-grader Savannah Hartinger, whose father Eric is deployed in Afghanistan. Front row: Shannon Hartinger, Savannah Hartinger (holding photo of her father in uniform), El Ewert and Keith Crist. Back row: Roger Fredsall, Marvin Aho, Ron Miller, Richard Weber and Gene Wichelmann. (Photo submitted)

First-grader’s dad deployed in Afghanistan

 

Miller presents Savannah with a birthday gift.

Miller presents Savannah with a birthday gift.

Members of the Forest Lake VFW Post 4210 and American Legion Post 225 visited a Lakes International Language Academy (LILA) first-grade classroom last week on a special mission: to deliver a surprise seventh birthday party to a student whose father is currently deployed in Afghanistan.

Savannah Hartinger is the daughter of Shannon and Eric Hartinger of North Oaks. Mr. Hartinger is a member of the Army National Guard and has been serving in Afghanistan since early September. The vets presented Savannah with a birthday gift in honor of her father’s service.

Savannah and her classmates enjoyed lunch courtesy of Forest Lake Domino’s Pizza and Savannah’s grandmother, Nancy Carlson. It was Ms. Carlson who contacted the veterans’ organizations and coordinated the birthday visit, lunch and gift.

“We are especially proud and honored to be here on behalf of Savannah’s father since he is serving to preserve our freedom,” American Legion member and chaplain Ron Miller said.

Savannah’s mother distributed photos of a uniformed Eric Hartinger to each student. She said, “It feels really good that the community cares, especially (Savannah’s) school. It feels sometimes like we forget there’s a war going on and daddies and neighbors are serving.”

Eric Hartinger is a 2nd Lieutenant with the 147th Roseville Financial Detachment. In Afghanistan he works with the Special Forces Paying Agents, Contractors and Afghani Nationals doing finance work. He is expected to return home this summer to his family and their business, Wallpapers Plus.

  • http://www.EricLangness.com Eric Langness

    Once again the veteran organizations and individuals in our community are serving our citizens. These are good people in our community doing great work!

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