The students on Team 7C were honored to host a Welcome Home Party for Navy ITSN Robert Dittrich, when he was home from a recent six month tour of duty on the USS Nimitz.
The students have been writing letters and sending care packages to Seaman Dittrich since September. They became acquainted with him through IMS Math Teacher Mrs. Mucci, whose family is a friend of Mr. Dittrich's.
During his time with the students, Mr. Dittrich took the students on a Navy STEM Careers Virtual Field Trip, where they had the opportunity to learn about STEM career opportunities in the U.S. Navy, including aircraft handler, meteorologist, F-18 pilot and aviation mechanic, to name a few. Mr. Dittrich, also shared photos of the Nimitz, his bunk on the ship and the places he visited on his most recent tour of duty that included India, Bahrain, Dubai, China, Japan and Pearl Harbor. He estimates that he traveled the equivalent of three times around the world on this last tour.
Mr. Dittrich is an Information Systems Technician in the Navy, and he said his job entails working 12-13 hours a day, fixing whatever is broken on the ship. He talked about life on the ship, including having to do laundry in the middle of the night to be able to find an available washing machine and dryer.
He told the students that whenever he would receive letters and care packages from the students, he would share them with his friends on the ship. He said they are appreciative of their gestures--especially the most recent package, which contained Sarris chocolates!
In addition to the letters and care packages, the students also decorated a wall in their classroom with inspirational messages and words of support for Mr. Dittrich. Team 7C Teacher Mrs. Makel plans to take the messages down, put them in a binder and send them to Mr. Dittrich during his next tour of duty.
The students were excited to meet Mr. Dittrich, ask him questions to learn more about life in the Navy, and to thank him for his service. They promised to continue to write to him and send him packages so he would know that they appreciate what he is doing and to let him know he is not forgotten.
Mr. Dittrich, a native of Houston, PA, enlisted in the Navy two years ago because he didn't think college was the right path for him, and he also wanted to travel.
Please click here
to see some photos from the Welcome Home Party!