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Graduation Beamed to Soldiers in Iraq

As if Chris Hochstetler wasn't excited enough about graduating from his Killeen, Texas, high school, his ceremony this weekend carried with it an extra element of emotion. Thanks to a special two-way video hookup, his stepfather, Army Sgt. Eugene Mont, was looking on from halfway across the world in Baghdad as the 18-year-old accepted his diploma Sunday.

Mont -- serving as a Bradley fighting vehicle mechanic with the 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq -- was among several soldiers watching the ceremony from the Iraqi capital. The 1st Cavalry Division is based in Fort Hood, Texas, near Killeen.

Shoemaker High School was among eight Killeen schools whose graduations were beamed via satellite to Iraq from May 25-30. More than one-fourth of Shoemaker's 400 graduates have parents deployed with the U.S. military overseas.

The Killeen Independent School District and the Army worked together to give soldiers a way to see their children graduate, via satellite link. The ceremonies were also streamed over the Internet.

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