Commander video teleconferences with middle school
May 22, 2009
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Thanks to modern technology students at Susan B. Anthony Middle School were able to talk live with the commander of the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division from his headquarters in Iraq.
Col. Joseph Martin spoke to a class of eighth graders from AMS via video teleconference.
AMS has a high military family presence due to its proximity to Fort Riley. "We have about 405 students, made up of 7th and eighth graders. Since the start of this year we have had about 100 students that are in active duty military families in our school. We also have nine staff members that have close family members that are active duty military," said Vickie Kline, principal, Susan B. Anthony Middle School.
"Today is a chance for 2nd Brigade to tell their story to eighth grade students at Susan B. Anthony Middle School. It's a chance to interact with middle school students who don't get that chance to do this very often and tell them what we are doing in Iraq," said Maj. Tom McCardell, 2HBCT rear detachment commander.
Martin answered questions from about 25 students, ranging from how the Iraqi schools were to how often they were able to shop. Martin did pay particular attention to one student. "I was a little nervous because I thought if I didn't word things right people would look at me weird but it was fun getting to see my dad," said Joey Martin, Col. Joseph Martin's son and also an eighth grader at AMS.
The students at AMS have been collecting school supplies all year for donation to Iraqi school children but Martin had one last request.
"I'd ask all of you to do something to do something tonight and the nights in the future. ...I'd ask you to drop to your knee tonight and thank who you're praying to for the Soldiers that are here that have made that sacrifice to do what we do," Martin said.
"Every Soldier here... want(s) you to enjoy the lifestyle that you have, but I want you to understand that knowing that there are people here that are making these sacrifices everyday and more importantly that there are people back there that are making an equal sacrifice because of a family being separated and some of you know how hard that may be.
"We are well trained. We are well motivated. We are well equipped and we will be coming back home," he continued. "We all look forward to seeing as many of you as possible when we do our welcome home celebration because you will see a great group of Soldiers and a community that is very supportive of those Soldiers come together as we come back home."