36th Medevac Soldiers Show Adopted School Students Soldier Basics

Story and Photos by Spc. Fabian Ortega
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

More than 100 fifth grade students from Belton’s Lakewood Elementary school were invited to Fort Hood as guests of the 36th Medevac and 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) May 16.

The students from Lakewood made their way to Fort Hood as part of the school’s 5th grade graduating class annual field trip.

“For the 5th graders, this is their last big hoorah field trip with Lakewood,” said 1st Lt Michael Sharma, a personnel officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 36th Medevac. “It’s really personally fulfilling for me to be able to do this one last time for the students and show them around the base and help them in this way,” he said.

The 36th Medevac sponsored Lakewood Elementary under Fort Hood’s Adopt-a-School program, but with the 36th Medevac inactivating later this year the 61st MMB will assume the sponsorship role.

The students began the day with a physical training session given by Soldiers of the 61st MMB, followed by a layout of tactical gear commonly used by Soldiers.

Rows of tactical gear were strewn on a field as students had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with it.

“The students wanted to try on the gear and they were cooperating with PT and having fun,” said Spc. Ryan N. Will, a light wheel vehicle mechanic and motor pool team chief with the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 61st MMB. “I think they had a lot of fun and were really interested in everything.”

School official said they wanted to make the end-of-year field trip tie in with the students’ social studies and American history lessons.

The rest of the day included a tour of the 1st Cavalry Division Museum, a visit to the 1st Cavalry Horse Detachment, lunch at the Freeman Dining Facility and a stop at Fort Hood’ Phantom Warrior Lanes for bowling.

Soldiers of the 61st MMB said they were excited to be teamed up with Lakewood Elementary.

“We have our new adopt-a-school that used to belong to the 36th but they are disbanding, so the 61st is taking over because we didn’t want to leave that relationship hanging,” said Will.

Building on the relationship the 36th and Lakewood have established is important for some Soldiers of the 61st MMB, said Spc. Brandon W. Alston, a generator  mechanic with HHD, 61st MMB.

“The experience has been extremely fun and we’re looking forward to future events together,” he said.

Will also said, giving their new friends at Lakewood insight on some of the daily activities that take place at the 61st MMB is important.

“I think it’s awesome to have a relationship with a school like that and to let the kids know we’re people to and we can have fun. I think it’s very important, the more we can let everyone know, the more understanding, especially the surrounding communities, will have of what goes on here at Fort Hood and in particular the 1st Med. Bde.,” said Will.

The commander of the 36th Medevac, Lt. Col. William S. Drennon said he believes Lakewood and the 61st will compliment each other.

“It’s important to take care of the school and to make sure they have a good unit that wants to take care of them and they have that in the 61st,” said Drennon.

“This new relationship is good for the school, it’s good for the 61st, it’s good for everybody,” he said