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.
On Tuesday, she posed with other members of her unit and a Merry Christmas sign to send a message home to her students.
“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.
“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.
In return, she says she’s received an abundance of letters, cards and care packages.
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.