Soldiers help with school's field day

Story and Photos by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley
15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — Games, laughing children, and a giant inflatable dinosaur might not be what Soldiers think about when they hear that they are going to the field.

But that’s what volunteers from 15th Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), encountered when they volunteered at Clarke Elementary School’s annual field day here, May 5.

“The school’s field day is a way for the students to celebrate the end of the year,” said Petra Baker, Clarke parent/teacher liaison.

All students, pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade went through 23 different stations on the school’s large playground, each with a different game or activities, including several inflatable obstacle courses and moonwalks.

Each Soldier was assigned a station where they assisted the students. Stations included foot races, potato sack races, hula-hoop, bowling and a tag variation using hula-hoops, among others.

“It was so awesome when we did the moonwalk on jack!” Westley Reaves, 9, a Clarke 3rd grader said of a large inflated moonwalk man.

15th STB Soldiers regularly volunteer their time and services to Clarke as part of the Adopt-a-School program, though their time is usually spent on less exciting activities like tutoring and anything else a teacher might need help with.

“It’s my favorite thing to do all week,” said Pfc. Derek Bausch, signal Soldier, 15th STB.

Some Soldiers, like Bausch, are permitted to volunteer time during the regular work day. Bausch volunteers all day, Monday through Wednesday.

“It feels so great that I see Soldiers come to our school,” said Reaves.

Parents, like Tonja Reimers, volunteer and mother of Caleb Reimers, also said they appreciate the Soldier volunteers.

“It makes [the kids] feel really good even though their dad or their mother can’t be here,” she said.

“We have so many dad’s deployed … it’s almost like [they’re] a father figure,” Baker said of the male Soldier volunteers.

“There’s a really good bond between the Soldiers and kids.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monica Gomez, 9, a 3rd grade student at Clarke Elementary negotiates an inflated obstacle course during the School's annual field day here, May 8. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

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Brandon Northam, 9, a 3rd grade student at Clarke Elementary negotiates an inflated obstacle course during the School's annual field day here, May 8. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

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Kelsey Miller, 8, a 3rd grade student at Clarke Elementary negotiates an inflated obstacle course during the School's annual field day here, May 8. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)