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'Live from Fallujah': Video chat allows PIE student to celebrate birthday with his dad overseas

November 14, 2018
Special to The Eagle ( , Pine Island Eagle

Pine Island Elementary school student Aaron Thorpe was surprised on his birthday last week with a "live video chat" from his father, Sgt. Steve Thorpe, who has been stationed in Fallujah, Iraq, since March.

First grade teacher Diane Sporney arranged the video chat with her class on Aaron's birthday, Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 9:30 a.m.

The students had lots of questions for Sgt. Thorpe.

Article Photos

Diane Sporney’s first-grade class at Pine Island Elementary with Sgt. Steve Thorpe looking on via video chat.


When asked what type of job he does, Sgt. Thorpe explained he does the same type job as Pine Island Elementary Public Safety Officer Cpl. Rivera.

"I protect other Army guys from bad stuff, too," Sgt. Thorpe said.

Asked if he works with other branches of the service, Sgt. Thorpe explained he works with all branches and even other countries.

When questioned about why he joined the Army, Sgt. Thorpe explained he couldn't swim, so the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard were out. That left the Army.

When not serving in the Army, Thorpe is a teacher in the Lee County School system.

At the end of the video chat everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to Aaron.

Pine Island Elementary School spent the week talking to students and educating them about veterans and the upcoming Veterans Day holiday. Last Friday, PIE celebrated Pine Island veterans with a special program.



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