Pennsylvania teacher sends Merry Christmas message home to students while deployed with National Guard

Pennsylvania teacher sends Merry Christmas message home to students while deployed with National Guard

U.S. Army Spc. Anna Schmeck is spending Christmas in the Middle East with her National Guard unit, but the Pennsylvania third-grade teacher has a holiday message for her students back home.

She’s been keeping in touch with them for months while stationed at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, deployed with Headquarters Support Company, 628th Aviation Support Battalion, 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, according to the Army.

Normally, she works at Conrad Weiser West Elementary School, in Womelsdorf, Pa. While deployed, she serves as an automated logistical specialist.

U.S. Soldiers with Headquarters Support Company, 628th Aviation Support Battalion, 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, pose for a photo at a motor pool in the 28th ECAB's area of operations in the Middle East. Spc. Anna Schmeck, an automated logistical specialist with HSC, made a sign for her students and colleagues at Conrad Weiser West Elementary School, where she works as a teacher.

U.S. Soldiers with Headquarters Support Company, 628th Aviation Support Battalion, 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, pose for a photo at a motor pool in the 28th ECAB’s area of operations in the Middle East. Spc. Anna Schmeck, an automated logistical specialist with HSC, made a sign for her students and colleagues at Conrad Weiser West Elementary School, where she works as a teacher. (Capt. Travis Mueller)

On Tuesday, she posed with other members of her unit and a Merry Christmas sign to send a message home to her students.

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“When I told them that I was … going overseas and showed them on a map where the Middle East was, they were definitely surprised I would be going so far away and for so long,” she told the Military Times.

U.S. Army Spc. Anna Schmeck, automated logistical specialist with Headquarters Support Company, 628th Aviation Support Battalion, 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, poses for a photo while at work at a motor pool in the 28th ECAB's area of operations in the Middle East.

U.S. Army Spc. Anna Schmeck, automated logistical specialist with Headquarters Support Company, 628th Aviation Support Battalion, 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, poses for a photo while at work at a motor pool in the 28th ECAB’s area of operations in the Middle East. (Spc. Stanford Toran)

“I started by just making a short video for the kids at the beginning of the school year to wish them good luck,” she told the outlet. “I love my students as if they’re my own children. I always refer to them as ‘my kids.’”

At the end of August, she sent a video back, introducing some of her colleagues, who offered encouragement and advice to the students.

U.S. Army Spc. Anna Schmeck, automated logistical specialist with Headquarters Support Company, 628th Aviation Support Battalion, 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, poses for a photo at a motor pool in the 28th ECAB's area of operations in the Middle East. She made the sign for her students and colleagues at Conrad Weiser West Elementary School, where she works as a teacher.

U.S. Army Spc. Anna Schmeck, automated logistical specialist with Headquarters Support Company, 628th Aviation Support Battalion, 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, poses for a photo at a motor pool in the 28th ECAB’s area of operations in the Middle East. She made the sign for her students and colleagues at Conrad Weiser West Elementary School, where she works as a teacher. (SPC Stanford Toran)

In return, she says she’s received an abundance of letters, cards and care packages.

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Schmeck’s brigade has been conducting combat and medevac operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield since the summer, the Military Times reported.

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