13th SC(E) Soldiers Participate in Killeen School Career Day

Story and Photos by Spc. Fabian Ortega

FORT HOOD, Texas — Soldiers from 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) visited students from Killeen’s East Ward Elementary to participate in the school’s career awareness day May 28.

Six Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th SC(E) joined others from various career fields to participate in the school’s career day, open to students from kindergarten through fifth grade.

“This year we wanted to try and expose the kids to different career fields and let them see how their subjects are linked to a career,” said Michelle Terry, the school counselor. “At this age it’s hard for them to see how their school work is linked to a certain field,” said Terry.

Botanists, martial arts’ instructors, state troopers, photographers and others joined the Soldiers taking part in the effort to reinforce the importance of the student’s daily curriculum.

“The career awareness day is really a day where the Soldiers in the military can let the students know about their life experiences and what the workings of the military are about,” said Vicki Thompson, a second grade teacher at East Ward. “All of the careers here today also let the students know that it takes discipline and determination to be successful,” said Thompson.

Sustainment Soldiers greeted the students with a career station consisting of two tactical vehicles.

“We have a (light medium tactical vehicle) and a (high mobility multi purpose wheeled vehicle) here for the students to see the types of vehicles we work on and use,” Spc. Juan R. Zuniga, a light-wheel vehicle mechanic with HHC, 13th SC(E). “The kids are really enjoying themselves inside of the vehicles. They are honking the horn, revving the engine and asking a lot questions,” said Zuniga.

For some Soldiers it is the first time working with students from the Fort Hood community.

“I think it’s important that we come out and visit with the students because I think we are role models for them,” said Spc. Moses H. Dieguez, a quartermaster and chemical equipment repairer, with HHC, 13th SC(E). “Some of the students think all we do is fire our weapons. This is the perfect time to work with them and expand their minds,” said Dieguez.

Thompson, who has been teaching for 34 years, agreed saying it’s important for the Soldiers to visit with students, some of whom have parents in the military.

“It helps the students to be very proud of their parents and identify with the military,” said Thompson.

By day’s end, some students had a preferred career in mind.

“Some of (the students) said they wanted to be Soldiers, like us,” said Dieguez. “That is the ultimate compliment. I look forward to doing this again,” Dieguez said.