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Staff Sgt. Thomas Doscher, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing
386th Expeditionary Medical Group - 05.19.2009
The 386th Air Expeditionary Wing hosted 75 high school students from the local America-Mideast Educational and Training Services language training center during a visit to the base May 16.
The visit marks first time the school has been to the base.
Members of the 386th along with Soldiers, Navy Seabees and Australian personnel from the Army Life Support Area worked together to provide the students with displays and demonstrations to teach them about what the military does here. Airmen from the 386th Expeditionary Medical Group conducted a Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility demonstration on the flightline while aircrew from the 737th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron showed the youngsters around a C-130 static display.
"We wanted to provide the kids with a good view of the American military and show them a little bit about what we do as the Air Force," said 1st Lt. Casey Eden, 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron and wing lead for the student cultural tour. "Secondly, we wanted to help them practice their English language skills. We also wanted to ensure that the kids had a great time, which they did."
AMIDEAST provides English language and professional skills training to hundreds of thousands of students and professionals in the Middle East and North Africa. One of the goals the teachers had for bringing the students to meet the Airmen was to give them an opportunity to practice what they've learned in class.
"They wanted to interact with native English speakers to practice and perfect their language proficiency," Lieutenant Eden said.
Diane Cramer, AMIDEAST English language teacher, said another goal was to show what American service members were really like.
"The most important thing I think they can learn is that the military is here as peacekeepers," she said. "We're not here to take over. We're friends. We're buddies with them, and I think our students already know that because of the experience they've had with our teachers."
While the students had visited other bases in the area, they had never had the opportunity to visit the Rock. Cramer said both the students and faculty were excited to be able to come.
"We were excited because we didn't think we'd be able to come here," said Cramer, AMIDEAST English teacher. "We always take the kids on field trips during the course of our sessions. We've come to the end of the school year, and this is like the icing on the cake."
Letters from the students thanking the Airmen suggest the students enjoyed themselves.
"I just want to thank you for everything that you did for us," said one student in his letter. "It was very kind and sweet of you. I will never forget what you did. It was amazing."