Student’s portrayal earns a gold star

Published 7:39 pm Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thirteen-year-old Taylor Colon’s “portrayal” of U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus during Bainbridge Middle School’s wax museum earned him a “gold star,” so to speak.

The eighth-grader said he wanted to study and pose as Petraeus during the event because he found him fascinating, and the son of LeeAnn Colon was interested in the military.

When Colon’s grandfather, Charles Tyson, told his colleague, Lauren Harrell, about the school project, Harrell said her brother works for the general, and Colon was encouraged by Harrell and her brother to send him his research project.

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In Colon’s letter, he wrote: “I chose to be you in our school’s Wax Museum because I saw your name on a Web site, read about you, and thought you would be interesting to do. I could tell that you are a respected general!”

He closed his letter thanking the commander of the U.S. Central Command.

On Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee confirmed Petraeus as the next commander of U.S. and foreign forces in Afghanistan. Petraeus was nominated by President Obama to replace Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who resigned last week after he and his senior aides made criticizing comments to the Rolling Stone magazine.

Petraeus sent Colon an autographed picture and a note, which read: “I enjoyed reading your letter regarding your portrayal of me for the school’s Wax Museum. I’m impressed by the level of writing, knowledge and initiative you’re displaying at such a young age! Beyond that, I am always encouraged to discover our future leaders of America.

“Again, thanks for taking the time to write. And keep your head in the game—we need young Americans like you to stay engaged!”