13 SC(E), Central Texas State Fair share Labor Day weekend

Spc. Fabian Ortega
13th SC(E) PAO

Soldiers of 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) spent the Labor Day weekend building a strong community relationship with Central Texas region and sharing a good time at the annual Central Texas State Fair, held in the city of Belton.

Various units of 13th SC (E) were given an opportunity to participate in the state fair to heighten the public’s knowledge of the role the 13th SC (E) plays in military operations at home and abroad.

Soldiers fielded questions from every demographic one would find at a state fair: young inquiring minds, skeptical teens, and curious Vets of yester-year, said one Soldier of 13th SC (E), Pfc. Michelle R. Teems, a chemical specialist with the 44th Chemical Co, 2nd Chemical Battalion.

“Everything has gone well, and everybody is a bit curious about what we are doing at the fair,” said Teems.

“We are out here today to let the public see what the U.S. Army does,” said Sgt. Brett M. Haley, also a chemical specialist with 44th Chemical Co. “We are a trying to build a rapport with the community by interacting and educating them on our particular [military occupation specialty].”

Although chemical specialist is exciting in its own right, Haley and Teems were overshadowed by their third team member, the FOX M-93 A1 Nuclear Biological and Chemical Reconnaissance vehicle.

“Children have been pretty amazed with the FOX,” said Haley. “They think it’s pretty cool; once the children sit inside the vehicle and have the opportunity to fiddle with the knobs and sit in the driver’s seat, [the children] want to drive it.”

Driving is better left to the experts, according to Sgt. Frederick M. Cheeks, a truck driver with 96th Transportation Company and Senior Driver Instructor at the Truck Drivers Academy, who was standing alongside his mammoth 21 ton Heavy Equipment Transport vehicle.

“The M1070 Truck Tractor weighs 42 thousands pounds,” Cheeks explained to a few children who stood in the trucks enveloping shadow.

Cheeks time and effort at the fair was well worth it, he said.

“The fair has been great,” said Cheeks. “I volunteered my time to come out to the fair and it has been a wonderful experience.” “Many people have approached me and thanked us for our service and we let them know, they are the reason we serve,” said Cheeks, speaking on behalf of his cohorts with him that day, Sgt. Julius Jackson and Sgt. Elliott Blair, truck drivers with 96thTrans.

What’s a fair without a few bumps and bruises?

Healthcare specialists with 581st ASMC, Spc. Earnest J. Hert and Pfc. Vivek Hari were there to cure all ills, or maybe just a few burns. While not there to serve as official medical care givers, they did manage to help out some people who suffered minor superficial slide burns.

“We had a few people approach us and ask us to bandage them up,” said Hert. “People saw the big red cross on our Maxi-Ambulance so they figured to come here for aid.

The day was a success for those involved said Hert.

“Our reason for being out here was to inform and to let the general public what are mission is about and to let them know what serving in a support function is all about,” he said.

“Today we achieved our mission and also enjoyed ourselves.”


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