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Monday, September 24, 2012
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Wofford had his work cut out for him on Tuesday morning when he gave a presentation on his service in South Korea to a group of 3-5-year-olds at Head Start. To keep the little wiggly tots captive, he showed a slideshow with a zooming airplane headed across the globe and pictures of traditional South Korean children’s clothes.
Wofford joked he had given presentations for adults before, but young children were new territory, even for a seasoned military man.
“They run the show,” he said.
To keep their attention he showed a tent he had spent time in.
“We live in tents when we are doing the good boy and girl stuff,” he said.
He said he traveled 6,550 miles in a little plane back to the United States where he had been back for only four days. He piqued students’ interest by saying he ate kimchee, a seasoned cabbage, which marinated underground for a year.
Wofford, the son of Bobby and Bobbie Wofford of Beloit, is a Beloit Memorial High School graduate and has served more than 20 years in the military including stints in Bosnia, Germany and South Korea. In addition to his meteorological duties, he said he has worked as a writer, instructor and recruiter over the years.
Not wanting to promote himself, he stressed the sacrifices of others who’ve served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said his presentation was simply to spend time with his son, Joshua, 4, and to teach others a little bit about what military life.
In an interview after his presentation, Wofford said he works as an artillery meteorologist and surveyor. He gathers information on the atmosphere so artillery rounds can be adjusted to hit their targets.
After the presentation, those at Head Start honored Wofford and his wife Christal for their service. While Wofford was away from his family for a year Christal volunteered countless hours at Head Start.
Kathy Gorrell, Head Star Family Resource worker, said Christal volunteers in the classroom almost every day, and went on to serve on the advisory council and hiring committee.
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