36th MED Lakewood Elementary Fort Hood Visit

By Spc. Fabian Ortega
13th SC(E), PAO

The 36th Medical Evacuation Battalion invited a group of fifth grade students from Belton’s Lakewood Elementary School to Fort Hood for a day of fun and learning May 8.

Approximately 110 fifth grade students from Lakewood were invited to Fort Hood as guests of the 36th Medevac, 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) to celebrate their graduation at the end of the school year later this month.

 “The fifth grade students at this school always go on a special field trip because it’s their last year at the school…the lead teacher and the school facilitator called me because of our relationship with the school and asked if we could do anything for them,” said 1st Lt Michael Sharma, a personnel officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 36th Med. “So I made a few phone calls and things worked out.”

The 36th Medevac is partnered with Lakewood Elementary under Fort Hood’s Adopt-a-School program.

Sharma and the 36th Medevac coordinated a day that included a tour of the storied 1st Cavalry Division Museum, a visit to the 1st Cavalry Horse Detachment for a 25 minute live practice demonstration, a session of physical training with 36th Medevac Soldiers and a stop at Fort Hood’ Phantom Warrior Lanes for some bowling.

Despite coordinating and careful planning, Sharma said an entire day with a large group of fifth grade students made the day a logistical “adventure.”

“I didn’t take into account how hard it would be to get them around on time and get them to a place on time… it was definitely an adventure getting 110 bodies from one place to another.”

Sharma enlisted the help of three other Soldiers from the 36th Medevac to help chaperone.

“It’s been fun, the kids are great and they’ve been asking lots of questions, it’s been fun being with them,” said Spc. Tess Kraus, a supply specialist with HHC, 36th Medevac. 

“I think they had a lot of fun, a lot them wanted to do a little more with the horse detachment and a lot them were really thrilled with the museum, going around seeing different exhibits,” said Krauss. 

Although shuttling around 110 energetic bodies was a tall task, the day went off without a hitch and students thoroughly enjoyed the educational experience and fun-filled day with the Soldiers, according to teachers and faculty members.

For the students’ end of the year fifth grade celebration and we wanted to tie it with their academics, the field trip tied in with social studies and American history, said Penny Sylar, instructional facilitator at Lakewood.

“We felt (the field trip today) was the best opportunity for us to do that, we feel very positive about it” Sylar said. “One of the students said this was the best field trip they have ever been on, so it all worked out.”