Story and photo by Cpl. Clay Beyersdorfer
International Security Assistance Force, Regional Command-South
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Nearly 20 Soldiers from Company C, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, had the opportunity to video chat with a few “friends” back in the United States, Oct. 23.
These new friends, who they have not met, are sixth-graders at the St. Paul’s School for Girls, a private school in Brooklandville, Md.
Soldiers received care packages and handwritten letters from the students, who worked to provide the Soldiers a feel of home.
Packages included snacks and personal hygiene items.
The Oct. 23 video chat session allowed the students and Soldiers an opportunity to not only meet each other, but thank each other for what they have done.
The meet and greet allowed the students the unique opportunity to ask Soldiers questions they prepared.
“How much training do you do?” one student asked.
1st Lt. Israel Rubio, executive officer, Company C, had the answer she was looking for.
“Just like you all are in school and are constantly learning, we as Soldiers are learning, too,” Rubio said. “We constantly are training and learning so we know what to do out here and stay sharp.”
The Soldiers were also asked, “What kind of food do you eat?”, “What do you do in your free time” and “How much do you sleep?”
Each Soldier had the chance to answer questions. Plenty of laughs provided for a fun atmosphere as there were smiles on both sides of the camera.
Sitting in on the video chat was Brig. Gen. John Thomson, deputy commanding general for support, 4th Inf. Div. and Regional Command-South, who played a major role in coordinating the donation.
Thomson spoke about how lucky the girls were to have the chance to go to school, and how important getting an education is.
“Over here in Afghanistan, girls used to not have the opportunity to go to school, but over the last 12 years, we have helped make that happen,” Thomson said. “Girls now are going to school; women have more rights than before — a lot of good things have happened over the last couple of years and are continuing to happen here in Kandahar.”
A student asked Thomson about his favorite part of the deployment.
“For me, it is all about being around the Soldiers,” Thomson said. “We have some great men and women here making sacrifices for their country, and being around them and watching them work so hard is what I like.”
As the questions ended, the teacher, Amy Phillips, had some final encouraging words for the Soldiers.
“I just want to thank you for your service and what you are doing for the girls,” she said.