13th SC(E) Troops Speak at Career Day

Story and Photo by Spc. Naveed Ali Shah
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

Her helmet was heavy, it blocked her vision. Her armor was bulky, it threw her off balance, but she still managed to push out ten push-ups before the weight of the armor overcame her. She was all smiles as she sat at her desk.

Soldiers from the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) spoke at Southwest Elementary School’s Career Day in Belton May 21, and the students had the opportunity to wear the gear the Soldiers wear.

The students had visitors from the police and fire departments, as well as a veterinarian, among others. The students circulated between rooms throughout the day.

This was not a recruiting attempt, rather an opportunity for the students to learn about the Army and ask questions.

“We always want to interact with the community, every chance we get,” said Maj. Raul Marquez, public affairs chief, 13th SC(E). “The more they know about what we do, the better the relationship, the better we can serve each other.”

Despite all the other visitors, the students were bursting with questions immediately upon seeing the Soldiers.

“Have you ever shot anyone?” “Have you jumped out of a plane?” “Do you get scared?”

“They’re just full of questions,” said Staff Sgt. Joel F. Gibson, public affairs NCOIC, 13th SC(E), “but I enjoy answering them and just giving them an idea of what we do in the Army.”

The students learned about Army life, specifically about Fort Hood units and about the Soldiers individual experiences.

“You like wearing that gear?” Gibson asked one 5th grade student. “Would you like wearing it for 12 hours a day, every day, for a year?”

The Soldiers talked about the hardships they face, but they also discussed the benefits that come with being a Soldier.

“I didn’t know Soldiers get 30 days of vacation!” said Carlos Marquez, a Southwest Elementary 4th grader,

The not so tangible benefits of military life were also discussed, such as the healthy lifestyle of physical training and dining facility food.

The visit a provided a great benefit both for the Soldiers to learn about their public perception and for the students to learn about the cornerstone of the community that affects them.

Carlos said, “I’m glad I got to talk to them and learn about what it’s like to be a Soldier.”


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Soldiers from the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) speak at Southwest Elementary School's Career Day in Belton May 21, and the students had the opportunity to wear the gear the Soldiers wear.

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Maj. Raul Marquez, Public Affairs Officer, 13th SC(E), laughs as a 3rd Grader struggles to walk during Career Day at Southwest Elementary School in Belton May 21.