Lantana Army Lt. Serves as Virtual Volunteer in Daughter's Classroom

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    Army Lt. Beau McNeff Face Timed into his daughter’s Lantana classroom Wednesday morning to serve as a virtual Watch DOGS dad for the day. (Published Wednesday, May 21, 2014)

    An Army lieutenant was able to FaceTime into his daughter's Lantana classroom Wednesday morning to serve as a virtual Watch DOGS dad for a day.

    Thanks to technology, Lt. Beau McNeff was finally able to go to school with his kindergartner for the day - while serving the country in Afghanistan.

    McNeff joined the students at E.P. Rayzor Elementary via FaceTime on an iPad.

    "I'm really excited they let me do this. It's pretty neat to get to stay involved with my kiddos," said McNeff who's on an Army surgical team at Jalalabad Airfield in Afghanistan.

    McNeff is a Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) volunteer at the school.

    The group of fathers takes turns visiting schools each day to help students learn and serve as positive male role models in the lives of their own children and all of the students there.

    Since McNeff was deployed in last fall, he hasn't been able to participate this school year besides a few short video chats with his daughter's class.

    This was the first time the school and McNeff were able to link up on a strong signal so he could actually read a full book to the students and help them with small group work for an hour or so.

    Elena, McNeff's daughter, was visibly thrilled to introduce her father to the school. Her teacher said she's kept the class updated on her dad's work with the Army all year.

    "I told them he's fighting for the country in Afghanistan, and she goes, nope, he's helping people that are broken to be put back together," said teacher Katie Jones.

    McNeff has also received care packages from the class and had a flag dedicated to the kindergartners that flew over his base for a day.

    "I like to make sure they know not all of us are out here shooting," said McNeff. "There are a lot of us out here supporting those guys and we're here to provide the care when somebody gets hurt. It's been an amazing feeling."

    School leaders said McNeff has two younger children in addition to Elena who will enter first grade at Rayzor next year. They hope he can continue to work with them as a Watch DOGS volunteer in person when he returns home. He is expected to return home this summer.