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Cub Scouts meet Iraq veteran

U.S. Army Spc. Matthew Ferguson answered a series of questions, one piling upon the other, from a group of Cub Scouts at the Elim Lutheran Church Thursday evening.

The Cub Scouts of Pack 4508 have been sending the 27-year-old serviceman and South Kitsap High School alum care packages for a year and four months, and that night the young boys in blue uniform met the man in desert camo in a surprise visit, and they wanted to know it all.

Did he have to shoot anybody? Did he run out of food? If he ran out of food did he have to eat bugs or get water out of cacti? Did he run into scorpions?

And, best of all, did he ever put a spider and a scorpion in a jar to fight each other?

The answer was “no” to all of the above.

“I didn’t have to shoot anybody,” he said, but admitted there were quite a few bugs about. “I killed lots of bugs.”

The group connected with Ferguson a year and a half ago through on of the pack parents, Lisa Lightbody. Lightbody works at Manchester Elementary with Ferguson’s mother, Rebecca Ferguson.

So the group gathered candy, magazines and other tokens from home and mailed them throughout his time in Iraq.

Ferguson said he was the only serviceman he knew of receiving treatment from a group like this.

“It felt great,” he said. “It was nice to know that you’ve got family back home and a community back home too.”

He was glad to finally meet Lightbody, who he’s been in contact with for a year and a half, but only met last week.

“She was a stranger to me,” he said. “It just feels good that there’s people in the U.S. that are willing to support soldiers and stuff even without knowing them on a personal level.”

The sentiment is shared by the pack.

“It doesn’t matter whether you agree with the war or you disagree with the warl. That has nothing to do with it,” Lightbody said. “We did this because it’s what scouts do.”

At the end of the evening Lightbody presented him with a Pack 4508 T-shirt, “so he will always know that he is part of our pack 4508 family.”

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