Administrator speaks from Afghanistan to local students

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

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Schools all over Clark County have been saluting the community's veterans, holding assemblies to honor the current and former military personnel in their students' families.

Heading into the Veterans Day weekend, students at Mountain View High School got a different perspective on the topic of military service. A couple of different perspectives, actually.

Friday morning's keynote speaker was Mountain View Associate Principal Tony Miles … who happens to be serving in Afghanistan right now.

Miles is a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. His last day at Mountain View was Oct. 1, but Miles was able to provide a recorded message for the students' annual veterans assembly.

In his speech, Miles outlined his travels from the United States to Afghanistan, and gave students an idea of how he will be spending the next 11 months. Miles' description made the job sound a bit like "CSI: Kabul."

"I'll be running DNA tests for Afghans looking to join the state police," Miles said. "I'll be analyzing shrapnel fragments."

Following the recorded presentation, Miles joined the students live over the phone and answered several questions regarding his decision to join the Navy and his thoughts on students looking to join a branch of the military.

The live chat also gave Miles a chance to provide an update on his trip, according to Evergreen school district spokesman Kris Fay.

"I got into Kabul about 51/2 hours ago," said Miles, who is on his second military deployment. "I was exhausted, but my energy level was high as we left the airport."

And that's because "there have been IEDs (improvised explosive devices) found on the route from the airport to the base."

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