Law students make Veterans Day special for classmate, Marine

Most of the students in section four of the first-year class in Professor Suzanne Reynolds’ contracts class at the Wake Forest University School of Law barely knew Ashley Webb of Arlington Heights, Ill.

They had never met her boyfriend, Cpl. Ryan Huber, a Marine serving in Afghanistan.

But they care about them both, as evidenced by an unexpected act of kindness Tuesday, Nov. 11 – Veterans Day. Classmate Ben Halfhill sent an e-mail, which asked students to contribute a small amount of money for Webb and Huber, who is scheduled to return home after Thanksgiving.

“The war has been going on for so long, I felt like I really haven’t done anything to show my appreciation (to the troops), and I think a lot of people felt the same way,” Halfhill said. “I knew that Ryan was coming back from Afghanistan, and wanted to do something in appreciation for what he has done.”

Webb and Huber, who met as high school freshmen in Mount Prospect, Ill., have been together for about eight years. Huber, a satellite communications operator, joined the Marine Corps in May 2007 and has been stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock for about a year.

The students began responding seconds after Halfhill clicked “Send” and nearly everyone participated. “It was fantastic,” Halfhill said.

On Veterans Day, Webb was surprised with a card containing $115.
“I can’t even begin to express my gratitude to my classmates and my professor for doing that,” she said. “Just to do this act of kindness for someone they’ve never met was really unbelievable.
“I just want to say, ‘Thank you.’ Their kindness and support mean so much to Ryan and myself. It’s the little things like this that make what he has done worth it.”

Halfhill made the presentation at the end of Reynolds’ contracts class. “It was just the dearest thing,” Reynolds said. “It was so thoughtful of the class to let

Ashley and Ryan know that the class remembers that it’s Veterans Day and they recognize the special hardships that veterans and people who love them are struggling with.”

Webb and Huber talk often, though communications involving his unit often go dark as violence in the eight-year war escalates to record levels. Webb hears the strain of war in Huber’s voice, but said the gift “boosted his spirits. It really got him really excited. He was in shock.”

Huber expressed his gratitude through an e-mail: “I would like to thank you for the overwhelming support and generosity that you have shown Ashley and myself. It honestly means so much to know that people who have never met me would sacrifice their time, money and effort to show me that I am being thought of while I am in country. It is because of Americans like you all that my friends and I are willing to make these sacrifices.”

– By John Trump