Skip to comments.Tales of Iraq - Soldier brings treasures, history to school
Posted on 01/08/2006 11:59:08 PM PST by BykrBayb
Tales of Iraq
Soldier brings treasures, history to school
By JOHN MOLSEED Messenger staff writer
Fair Oaks Middle School sixth-graders learning about Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, had a special guest Friday someone who had been there.
Sgt. Tony Echevarria shared his experiences and visits to historic sites while stationed in Iraq with the students one of them his son, Zak Echevarria.
This is believed to be the birthplace of Abraham, Sgt. Echevarria said describing a Powerpoint slide showing the ancient brick structure. He is the father of Judeo-Christian belief that we have today.
Echevarria has spent eight months in Iraq and was in Fort Dodge for two weeks on leave. He returns to Iraq today. The Fort Dodge native is a first sergeant with a North Carolina unit that provides security for supply convoys.
Were the people who move everything up north, he told the class.
As a history major, Echevarria was drawn to the historic sights in the ancient city of Ur.
Its very neat to go there and imagine that 5,000 years ago this was a booming city, he said.
Teacher Tamara Boeckman whos leading the classs early centers of civilization unit said Echevarrias experience will bring their studies of the ancient world to life.
There are still some reminders of the civilizations were studying, Boeckman said.
This building itself is almost as tall as the school building were in, he said describing a Powerpoint slide that showed an ancient ziggurat. Its a solid structure.
Aside from bringing history alive, Echevarria hoped his talk would show students some of the daily tasks soldiers in Iraq go through and progress being made in rebuilding the war-torn country.
Its not all shooting, he told the class.
Everything I see on the media is negative. It doesnt show the work were doing in Iraq rebuilding schools, the work were doing on their infrastructure, Echevarria said before his presentation.
In a quick Powerpoint montage, he showed the students pictures of soldiers from his North Carolina-based unit. A few also showed Iraqi schools. He compared the Fair Oaks classroom with the primitive conditions in most Iraq schools.
They dont have electricity, wood floors or anything like that, he said.
He also showed the class everyday items from Iraq including Pepsi cans with labels written in Farsi, the official Iraqi language. He passed out old currency, pamphlets and even a burka after briefly demonstrating how its worn.
I cant imagine wearing it. Thatd be hot, said sixth-grader Katelyn Sorenson.
Its sorta like a blanket, said John Ort, also in sixth grade.
Echevarrias descriptions of the artifacts found by archaeological expeditions and the prospect of unopened and undiscovered tombs fanned the students imaginations.
I think its neat you could find treasure, Ort said.
Another ".223 tracer of Truth" strikes the old, slow but loud & annoying MSM Brachiosaurus.