“We fly almost every other day between 9 and 15 hours per flight. Most of what we do here is provide an emergency service for soldiers on the ground,” he wrote. “It is a great pleasure serving our country and an amazing sense of pride comes with knowing that all of you are supporting us.” Cobb said she met Lee and Daniel Davidson through a youth group when she lived in Pasadena and the Davidsons lived in Montrose. Because Lee was stationed in Qatar and Daniel was in the Baghdad area, Cobb suggested that Atherwood students send some letters to their units. “The students sent the care packages and wrote such things as `I love you’ to the troops,” Cobb said. Fourth-grader Tori Thimian, 9, said she wrote to the soldiers about what she and other students were doing in their school. “I thanked them for protecting us. They are not at home, and this gives them a little bit more comfort,” she said. “It’s just really nice of them to send something like the flag that represents them and what they are doing.” email@example.com (805) 583-7602160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SIMI VALLEY – A flag flown in Iraq is being proudly displayed at Atherwood Elementary School in Simi Valley, where students received it this month as a token of appreciation from American troops stationed in the Middle East. Atherwood students for years have been sending care packages, letters and Christmas gifts to American soldiers overseas. At other times, they have collected gifts for a local shelter for battered women and a senior citizen center. “They are awed that their acts of collecting things have impacted the lives of others,” said fourth-grade teacher Elaine Cobb. “I think it instills in the children a sense of responsibility and empowerment, that they have the ability to impact the lives of others in positive ways. It makes them want to do it more and more and more.” The flag was sent to the Atherwood students by the Air Force 12th Expeditionary Airborne Command and Control Squadron stationed in Qatar. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2It was presented Friday to Principal Aileen Buhring, and the students celebrated with a concert that included patriotic songs in an advance celebration of Memorial Day. The flag will be displayed in a case in the school’s main office. Melody Sonnemann, 10, a fourth-grader at Atherwood, said the students want to make sure the troops aren’t forgotten. “They are doing so much. It means a lot for us,” she said. “We wanted to do something for them that they would treasure. It makes them think of home.” In a note with the flag, Airman 1st Class Lee Davidson told the students he had flown more than 300 combat flight hours, and that their letters were greatly appreciated by his entire crew. He said his unit has been deployed off and on since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, spending about 6 months a year in the area.