News: Flat Stanley visits Iraq - Popular storybook character tours Iraq with Soldiers help
Story by Sgt. Carmen Guerrero
By Sgt. Carmen Guerrero
926th Engineer Brigade
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - The imagination of a child goes far above what most adults can even begin to fathom. The famous storybook character, Flat Stanley, visited various places in Iraq and with the help of the 890th Engineer Battalion, 926th Engineer Brigade, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, the tradition of the Flat Stanley Project can continue, thus furthering the minds and imaginations of children at Eastview Elementary School in Connersville, Ind.
Capt. Timothy Sastic, native of Swedesboro, N.J., and chaplain for the 890th Engineer Battalion from Gulfport, Miss., had the opportunity to participate in the Flat Stanley Project through the second grade class of his wife's cousin at Eastview Elementary School in Connorsville, Ind. The story behind Flat Stanley dates back to 1964 when author Jeff Brown wrote of a little boy named Stanley Lambchop who was flattened by a bulletin board used for pictures and posters, that was given to him and his brother by their father. In the middle of the night, the board fell and flattened Stanley while he was sleeping. Stanley survived and uses his altered state by sliding into rooms through the opening at the bottom of closed doors and manages to even catch museum thieves by posing as a painting on the wall. There are several books in the Flat Stanley series in which his many adventures are captured.
The Flat Stanley Project was started in 1995 by a schoolteacher in Canada and the tradition of cutting out photos of Flat Stanley, decorating them, sending them out to pen pals who are then photographed with Flat Stanley, and documenting Stanley visits via letters has been a tradition many teachers and children keep going.
While in Iraq, Flat Stanley visited the specialized search dog team, went out on a route clearance mission, and even spent the day at the International Zone with Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Talley, native of South Bend, Ind.
While at the IZ, Flat Stanley went to Green Beans Coffee, was an observer at a Soldier's reenlistment ceremony, saw the famous crossed swords and the Iraqi Tomb of the Unknown Soldier before heading back to base on a Black Hawk.
"I think Flat Stanley is a great way to motivate students to learn more about their world. Flat Stanley is a great way to show students more than just what appears on TV and in text books," says 1st Lt. Clark Neal, native of Punxsutawney, Pa., and member of the 926th Engineer Brigade.
"When I received a request to take some pictures with Flat Stanley from a second-grade class in Indiana, I didn't know what I was getting into. In fact, I had no idea who Flat Stanley was. Flat Stanley is a paper man that travels the world, and then writes back to students about his experiences. When word got around the Battalion that Flat Stanley was here, he became an instant celebrity! Soldiers volunteered to take him on trips around the camp, and even out into Baghdad. Perhaps the highlight of Flat Stanley's trip was a helicopter ride with Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Talley to the International Zone. He is returning to the states now, but not without many of our Soldiers participating in the fun of showing Flat Stanley around Iraq," said Sastic.
This work, Flat Stanley visits Iraq - Popular storybook character tours Iraq with Soldiers help, by SGT Carmen Guerrero, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.