Teacher home from Iraq - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teacher home from Iraq

August 8, 2005

Albany- It's a homecoming Captain Robert Alexander will never forget.

"I felt really honored and really special that the administration and the teachers and the students thought so highly of me to give me a welcome of students, the band, people who are glad to see me," Alexander says.

Alexander has only been home a few days, but decided not to take any time off and return to work as soon as possible.

"I enjoy Monroe and the people here and I enjoy teaching here, so I wanted to come as quickly as I could," says Captain Robert Alexander.

After spending nearly 12 months traveling through the deadly combat zones of Iraq, the geography teacher says he happy to be back at work patrolling the hallways of Monroe.

"My unit, the 125th Transportation Company out of Lexington, Kentucky, which is a reserve unit, when we would go out on missions we were hit I would say 9 or 15 times, we were hit by IEDs which are the improvised explosive devices the roadside bombs," he says.

"We were fortunate in that most times nobody was hurt. Nobody was injured." But the reservist says he did lose one soldier last September.

"Mortars, roadside bombs, two ambushes so I experienced real war."

Now, Alexander hopes to use some of his experiences to motivate his students, and incorporate his new-found knowledge of the Middle East into his geography lessons.

"I met people from the Philippines, India, Pakistan, so I have those unique experiences to talk about." Captain Alexander says he's dedicated to his job as a soldier, but is thankful he can continue to serve his country from the front lines of his classroom.

Captain Alexander has spent the last 21 months on active duty and has been through two deployments. He says he won't be eligible for deployment again for another three years unless he volunteers to go.

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