Serviceman Skypes with Sixth Graders

  • Skyping from Afghanistan

    with U.S. Serviceman Ian Lynch


    During a language arts lesson, sixth-grade teacher Kate Redmond-Eubanks and her class opened a discussion about our servicemen and women. “I spoke about my nephew, U.S. Army Sergeant Ian Lynch, from Chicago,” Mrs. Redmond-Eubanks explained, “who was then stationed in Colorado. I showed the class a News 4 clip that was taken when he returned from his last tour (Dec 2012) … His community in Palatine, Illinois, welcomed him home.”

    The students also learned that 24-year-old Sergeant Lynch, was on his third tour in five years and was stationed in Afghanistan.

    This class discussion prompted Mrs. Redmond-Eubanks’ Green Team students to launch a letter-writing project. “We thought it would be nice for the students to write.” Soon, seventy-five letters about everyday activities like the “…Rangers in the playoffs, Chicago Blackhawks were in it at that time too, the weather finally changing over to warm and sunny, etc...” were mailed to Sergeant Lynch and his fellow troops.

    In reply, Sergeant Lynch emailed back asking if he could arrange to Skype the class as a way of thanking them for all the letters.

    Three weeks after they had sent the letters, “at 9:15 a.m. our time, 7 p.m. Afghanistan time, Ian Lynch was Skyping the class to answer questions the students had. He showed us the food they ate, explained the daily life of a solider, and he even showed us around his bunk, which is a shipping container with lights and an AC unit hook-up. He also showed us the area outside of his bunk, and explained what the soldiers do on down time.” 

    Sergeant Lynch described the group of local kids who play cricket and soccer outside the area where they are staying and about the different languages spoken there.  Sergeant Lynch also taught the Sayville students how to say "What's up?” in the local dialect.

    During the hour-long conversation, the sixth-graders asked numerous questions about training, about what he and other soldiers will do when they come back to American soil.

    “The students and staff really enjoyed the experience! (It continues to amaze me that we can see and talk to someone around the world—what a wonderful world we live in!)”

    Weeks later, Mrs. Redmond-Eubanks remarked. “My students are still talking about it.”