Tech. Sgt. Chuck Smith, of the United States Air Force, is serving a six-month tour of duty as an operations management specialist, according to a Tyler ISD news release.
When he is away from his Air Force duties, Smith works as Tyler Junior College’s assistant athletic director.
Students first connected with Smith last year when they began writing and mailing letters and pictures to him when they were learning about veterans and the contributions they make to the country.
Students also discussed why it is important to take time to appreciate the soldiers’ sacrifices, according to the news release.
Smith was so moved by the students’ support that he reached out to the teachers and asked if he could thank the classes via Skype, which allows people to make voice calls through the Internet.
Holly Drain, an Andy Woods Elementary school first-grade teacher, arranged for the first-graders to participate in their first Skype experience.
Students gathered around the projector screen and asked Smith questions about being in the Air Force, according to the news release.
“Not only did we connect live via Skype, but we also helped the students make a real-life connection by learning about the significance of our veterans, and why it is so important for us to support our troops around the world,” Mrs. Drain said. “Thank you to Tech. Sgt. Smith for helping us accomplish this incredible experience!”