4th SB Soldiers Volunteer with Nolan Middle School

Story and Photos by Pfc. Naveed Ali Shah
13th SC(E) Public Affairs Office

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the town, the children lined the streets, jumping up and down.

They shouted with glee, “Santa’s coming soon, he’s on his way! I hope he brought sweets and candy today!”

Jolly old Santa Claus threw sugary treats, from atop a sleigh, no…wait a ladder truck from the Killeen Fire Department, and the children dove as it landed at their feet.

This was the scene during Killeen’s annual Christmas Parade in downtown Killeen Dec. 13.

Soldiers from the Rear Detachment, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), marched with students from Nolan Middle School during the parade. The 4th SB Soldiers also helped the middle school students decorate the float prior to the parade.

The parade featured more than 140 different entries, made up of floats, riding clubs, marching bands, and other organizations including the 1st Cavalry Division Band, Horse Detachment, and Honor Guard.

Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander, III Corps and Fort Hood, and Texas State Rep. Jimmie D. Aycock were the grand marshals for the parade, which is now in its 46th year.

The 4th SB Soldiers often volunteer their time with their adopted school, decorating the float and marching in the parade was just a small part of everything they do.

“We volunteer in the classroom, read with the students, help them with lawn care and maintenance, and go on field trips with them,” said Spc. Kyle Walker, human resource information system management specialist, Rear Det., 4th SB.

The Soldiers do not view volunteering as a card they have to punch for time served though.

“I love kids, interacting with them and teaching them,” said Walker, who has been volunteering at Fort Hood since 2001, “Especially if their parents are deployed, I like to give them something to smile about.”

This holiday season, we should all follow the example set by these outstanding Soldiers. Remember the old adage: “T’is better to give, then to receive.”

Walker said, “I like to see kid’s smile. It warms your heart, and it boosts the kid’s spirits, I love volunteering my time for them.”


Sgt Taylor
Sgt. Johnathon Taylor, Rear Det., 4th SB, 13th SC(E), marches alongside Nolan Middle School’s float during Killeen’s 46th Annual Christmas Parade December 13.

Sgt Barnett
Sgt. Diamante Barnett, medic, Rear Det., 4th SB, 13th SC(E), discusses safety issues with the student’s of Nolan Middle School prior to the commencement of Killeen’s 46th Annual Christmas Parade December 13