Staff Sgt. Jay Forsmann paid a special visit to Mrs. Thomas’s pre-k class at the Grove Early Childhood Center Friday.

Forsmann, who was deployed to Iraq Saturday, was there to speak to his daughter Kacey’s class.

He has been in the Army for 17 years, and his deployment with the 40th Trans Company will last eight months.

When asked how he feels about having to leave his family so close to Christmas, Forsmann said it is just “part of the job.” He noted that there are thousands of troops spending the holidays overseas this season.

“We’ll make up for it,” he said, explaining that his family was celebrating Christmas early.

Forsmann said he decided to join the Army because his father, now retired, was in the Air Force.

“I wanted to do something different,” he said.

Kacey Forsmann may not want her father to go away at Christmas, but her sentiments Friday were touchingly unselfish.

“I’m proud of my Daddy and I’m glad he fights for our country,” she said.