BMS Teacher and Veteran Army National Guardsman to be Deployed for Year at Texas Border
Article by: Sara Musgrove
“He is just one of those genuine people who wants to make the world a better place, and he does that through his service—both to his country and to his students here at BMS,” said Brownwood Middle School Principal Sandra Richardson, regarding teacher Edward Sena. In his fifteenth year of serving in the Army National Guard, Sena has been called up for deployment for a year to the Texas border.
“My troops and I will be conducting patrols along the border, assisting Border Patrol Agents, performing guard duties, and constructing barriers that impede mobility of large groups,” Sena said. “This will be my third actual (year-long) deployment, along with two stateside deployments.” Sena has previously served in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, the Houston Flood Mission, and the Dallas Riots Mission. In the middle of his second year at BMS, Sena teaches seventh grade History and coaches boys’ sports. “Coach Sena has been a fantastic addition to BMS,” Richardson said. “He is dedicated and committed to this job as both a teacher and coach. He gets to know his students and they respond so well to his encouragement and patience. They love to hear his stories about being in the service, and he gives them some real-life examples of the challenges he has faced overseas and even during the riots around the country last year. He is always positive and upbeat, willing to do anything we ask of him, plus anything he sees that needs to be done. Our students look up to him and are attached to him—especially the athletes. They know he cares.”
Sena joined the Army National Guard in college and quickly learned from boots-on-the-ground experience. In 2008, shortly after finishing Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT), he was sent to Iraq. “I joined because I wanted a challenge and because my family—mom, uncles, and grandparents—served in some capacity in the military,” Sena said. “I wanted to continue that tradition and do my part.” Sena’s work has continued with middle school students and athletes, teaching them tactical and practical knowledge. “It is always a privilege to see a student have that ‘aha’ moment, that the information is sinking in,” Sena said. “One thing I want to tell them is to continue to strive to be themselves to the fullest; what they think of themselves is most important--and that needs to be a positive view. Secondly, would be a quote from Babe Ruth, ‘You just can't beat the person who never gives up.’ I love this quote. Have a mindset that you go against the odds and come out on top.”
Richardson looks forward to having Sena back in the classroom after deployment. “We are honored to have several veterans on our campus because they enrich the lives of all of our students with their experience, calmness under pressure, and ability to think quickly in any situation,” Richardson said. “Our students have learned through [Sena’s] example about how to give back to others and how important it is to stand up for what you believe in. We are so proud of him. We are all looking forward to hearing his stories.” The BMS staff and student body hope to stay in touch with Sena and plan for next steps in the process of his deployment. “I am so appreciative of BISD providing support for me to be able to go do what I need to without hesitancy about my career and family,” Sena said. “They have expressed that I will be able to come back to my position here at BMS and that if my family needs anything to just let them know what can be done. All of this support is just amazing to experience. I will be able to do my job with more focus, knowing that prayers are being said and my family is in good hands. I cannot wait to come back to my loved ones, to teaching, and coaching up athletes!”