Deployed dad watches daughter graduate high school via teleconference
June 9, 2011
CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq " While deployed overseas, U.S. service members often miss out on important family events such as birthdays or anniversaries.
For 1st Sgt. Michael Robling, deployed to Contingency Operating Site Marez, Iraq, as senior enlisted leader of Company C, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, a video teleconference brought him front and center to his daughter’s high school graduation, June 6.
Prior to the Ellison High School graduation in Killeen, Texas, Robling spoke with his daughter Averie and enjoyed quality time with the soon-to-be graduate.
“I’m a little overwhelmed,” said Robling, a native of Seattle. “This is my second child that is graduating high school. Even though I’m in Iraq, I still got to see her in her gown.”
Despite the time difference and showing up to the teleconference at 2 a.m. to see the ceremony, the veteran of 21 years said he was excited to see his daughter receive her diploma.
“She was looking forward to this all day,” said Robling. “Being able to share this opportunity brings us closer, because it’s not only important to her, but to me also.”
Major Ernesto Lopez, information operations officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th AAB, coordinated the VTC between COS Marez and Killeen.
After setting up three similar events for Soldiers earlier in the deployment, Lopez said the conferences are an important part of keeping deployed troops in touch with their Families.
Participating in the VTC definitely shows Soldiers that unit leaders are going the extra mile, said Lopez, a native of Bakersfield, Calif.
“It shows Soldiers that events like this are important (to the unit) and it helps to boost their morale,” Lopez added.