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Service Members Speak With Virginia Students Over Skype

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This Veterans Day, some elementary school kids in Alexandria, Va. took got a chance to speak with and thank service members overseas without ever leaving the school grounds.

Army Lt. Col. Michael Olson gave a virtual tour to several dozen third, fifth and sixth graders over Skype. Olson is in Kandahar, Afghanistan, the students 7,000 miles away in the Fort Hunt Elementary School library. The tour included videos, a slideshow and even some Q&A.

"I was hoping that they would realize that there are still people deployed in service to their country. There are still wars going on," said Olson. "My family is proud of my service, and I am proud of them, so it's just kind of my opportunity to give back to them."

Olson has four daughters, including Natalie Olson, a sixth grader, who says her dad made the kids laugh.

"He just had very funny remarks with things we said, like when he said he had ten pounds of bacon," said Natalie.

Natalie and her classmates weren't the only ones using Skype to thank active duty personnel on Veterans Day. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley spoke via Skype this morning from the Maryland Statehouse with service members who are taking a speech and writing class with the University of Maryland University College at Bagram Air Field.

O'Malley commended them for working to continue their education while deployed. Javier Miyares, the president of UMUC, also took part in the call from Annapolis.

UMUC is a state school that specializes in online education for members of the military stationed overseas. It has about 98,000 students. More than half are military service members, veterans and their families.


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