LIFE

Class Skypes Soldier Dad To Guess Where He Is, But Daughter Doesn’t Know He’s In Her School

by Megan Wrappe
Megan is a writer from North Carolina who loves sports, sees way too many Broadway shows, and loves a good adventure! When she's not writing, you can find her curled up in bed with a Jane Austen book.

Unlike most other fourth-graders, Mia Smith has a little more to deal with. Her daddy, Staff Sergeant Smith, has been serving our country in Kosovo since February, and she misses him every single day.

She and her family are based in Germany. A few of her classmates are also from military families, which helps them deal with missing their soldiers. Their teacher, Xavier Flores, always wants to help too.

Mr. Flores’ 4th grade class at Vogelweh Elementary is a DoDEA school in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

So when Mia’s dad wanted to surprise her when he came home, Xavier knew what to do.

He told Mia they were going to Skype her dad just to say hi, but then it turned into so much more.

Instead of just saying hi, Mia’s dad asks the class to guess the first letter of the country he’s in. He tells them he’s in Europe, and the class writes the alphabet on the board and begins to cross off the letters as different students guess.

Then someone asks if the country begins with a “G” and he answers yes. But then no one else can quite guess where he is, so he gives them all a hint.

“I got on a plane and then I had a friend who flew all the way to see me,” Sergeant Smith says. “Do you want to see my friend?”

With a resounding “yes” from Mia’s class, Sergeant Smith moves the camera over and a huge bald eagle named Feathers, the school mascot, is sitting next to him.

“Now where is Feathers?” Flores asks the class. “Do you think Feathers went to see him or he came to see Feathers?”

And then Mia immediately knows where her daddy is.

“Daddy, are you here?” she asks him tearfully. And with a nod, Mia sprints down the hallway right into her daddy’s arms.

Mr. Flores’ 4th grade class at Vogelweh Elementary is a DoDEA school in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

DoDEA is globally positioned, operating 168 schools in 11 forgeign countries, 7 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA employs approximately 15,000 employees who serve more than 73,100 children of active duty military and DoD civilian families. DoDEA is committed to ensuring that all school-aged children of military families are provided a world-class education that prepares them for post-secondary education and/or career success and to be leading contributors in their communities as well as our 21st century globalized society.

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