FORT HOOD, Texas — Fort Hood's biggest fan is set to visit the base on Monday for a whole day of seeing tanks and making the rounds after drawing pictures and sending a letter to Lieutenant General Pat White late last summer.
"We had recently talked about the military holidays, the national holidays, I don't really remember if it was Memorial Day or Veterans Day and he went and did some drawings," explained his Dad, James Simon.
Simon said his son, Etienne, who is 8-years old, decided to draw various pictures of tanks and police cars.
The drawings impressed James and he brought up the idea of sending it to the Army.
"His eyes lit up at that and he said, 'can we do that?' and I told him I am sure we can send letters," Simon told 6 News during a Zoom call. "So, we did some research and did some looking around and while I'm not a military expert, I did know that Fort Hood is close by."
Simon said after doing some research, he sent the letter and pictures directly to Fort Hood and they heard back in about three weeks. In that letter was an invitation for Etienne and his parents to visit Fort Hood and to look at the tanks he drew on paper.
"This is the coolest moment of my life," Etienne said from his hotel room in Fort Hood. "Because I am at the U.S. military base or a military base."
Etienne, who had just returned from walking on Fort Hood and looking at some tanks just couldn't contain his excitement.
"I am just so excited to see a tank, I mean, there's so much that I want to see," he said with a smile on his face.
Fort Hood said they have plans for his visit, including a chance to have lunch with soldiers and to meet III Corp Commanding General, Lieutenant General Pat White.
"As a father, I am super proud of him and he's such a good boy," James said. "When he showed the interest in sending the letter, I was really happy that he had an understanding of how important our military is and how nice it would be for them to receive a letter from a small child."
In the midst of all the excitement, James said he hopes his young son takes something away from his visit and it begins with appreciation.
"I want him to have this opportunity to see that our Army, our military, they're people just like us... they are reachable, you can talk to them and I want him to have some appreciation for what they do," James said.