My husband is in the military and has recently switched branches and so is now at his new command/duty station. In talking with some of his new coworkers, he discovered that one was a student of mine last year. Small world really. They share a common interest, so they have started to talk and not really become friends, but certainly bonded.
Most of my husband's new unit is deploying very soon, going "over there" (to maintain my anonymity and opsec, that's all I'll say) and this former student is deploying (my husband won't be going, the military has other plans for him...huge sigh of relief from me).
I remember this student. He was a good student, the type I love having in my classes because he was smart but doing well didn't just come to him, he had to work to get good grades and was more than willing to do so. Just remembering him says something - as an adjunct I have 200ish students a semester, so remember a single one a year later usually means he/she was a really good student (or a really, really terrible one, but he was one of the good, even great, ones).
I want to say something to him, wishing good luck or telling him to be safe while he's over there. Maybe just a verbal message from my husband, or a quick handwritten note to the tune of "be safe over there and come back in one piece because you're the kind of student (my university) needs and wants to have" or something (if I decide to write it down, I promise it will be more eloquent than that).
My question #1: Is this appropriate? Am I overstepping my bounds as a professor in sending this student good wishes while he's deployed? Or should I just pray for him and not say anything?
My question #2: If it is okay for me to say something, should I just send a verbal message through my husband or is a handwritten note okay too? Any ideas on what to say?
I don't want to be weird, but I do genuinely hope he stays safe over there (and certainly I hope all the members of my husband's unit do, but this one I actually really know...)