Stateside students connect with Ramstein’s Deployment Buddies

Monica Mendoza
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Students at Braintree High School in Braintree Mass., were curious about their history teacher’s life as a child growing up overseas, living on military bases. Michaela Norman, a graduate of Department of Defense Dependent Schools, always answered her students’ questions. Then, she decided to put them in touch with children overseas. Through a letter-writing project, her students met children in the Deployment Buddies program at Ramstein, where youngsters are paired with Ramstein American High School students to support each other when parents are deployed.

The Braintree students expressed their appreciation of the children who have deployed parents.

“I wanted them to be involved and engaged in a meaningful project,” said Ms. Norman. “It’s a great way to raise cultural, global and political awareness for my students. My students now take a special interest in current events, especially Iraq, such as reading the paper or watching the news.”

Just before the holiday break, the Ramstein Deployment Buddies received boxes of letters and coloring books from the Braintree students, who held a fundraiser to buy coloring books and crayons. Braintree junior Paige Kelley said the project helped students appreciate soldiers and their families, and the time they spend away from one another.

“I wanted to write a letter to a child because I know it must be hard not having your parents around during the holiday season,” Miss Kelley said.

“I was hoing that my letter would make the child’s holiday season a little better.”