Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Volunteers support students while deployed overseas

eCYBERMISSION Volunteer:  1st Lt. Kent Gneiting
Stationed at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, 1st Lt. Kent Gneiting has just ended his 12 hour day serving our country overseas. Spending long days in front of a computer and attending staff meetings that seem to become repetitive can become very tiring. Add to the fact that he was over 7,000 miles away from his friends and family back in the states. Gneiting would then head back to his quarters, which was a half-trailer he shared with three other people, or find an empty office to score a few eCYBERMISSION Mission Folders.

“I found reading the projects to be relaxing and helped to clear my head and get ready for the next day’s work,” said Gneiting, who is now a CyberGuide for the eCYBERMISSION Competition. “More and more I realize the value of focusing and engaging young minds in creative problem solving outside of the classroom environment.”

eCYBERMISSION Volunteer: 
Lt. Col. Tim Mertsock
Gneiting isn’t the only Volunteer who has supported eCYBERMISSION Students while deployed overseas. Lt. Col. Tim Mertsock, a chemical officer for the U.S. Army and an eCYBERMISSION Ambassador since 2003, promoted the program while he was deployed in Iraq. He would make phone calls or send emails to schools back in the states to get them to register and form teams.

“I’m surprised each time students come up with these ideas,” said Mertsock. “Any time I can promote the program, I just tell people about it.”

Lt. Col. Wayne Wolverton, a 10-year participant and current CyberGuide, helped mentor students during the 2004-2005 competition while stationed at Camp Slayer just outside of Baghdad. His username at the time, CGBaghdad, seemed to draw a lot of attention from students.

eCYBERMISSION Volunteer: 
Lt. Col. Wayne Wolverton
“It was probably the most satisfying year I had as a CyberGuide, as so many of the students expressed an interest not only in their own projects, but also in what I was doing, how safe I was, how my family was faring without me and their appreciation of the service of all of the troops there,” said Wolverton.

The eCYBERMISSION Staff would also like to thank all of the Volunteers who support the program overseas, and send a special thank you to 1st Lt. Gneiting, Lt. Col. Mertsock and Lt. Col. Wolverton for sharing their experiences with us. Their stories are shining examples of why our country is so great and how lucky eCYBERMISSION Students are to have their support.

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