“Wranglers” transfer adopted school to Ft. Hood’s WTB

Story by Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, Public Affairs Officer, 15th SB
Photos by  Gloria Montgomery, Fort Hood Warrior Transition Battalion Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — The “Wranglers,” 15th Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), transferred their adopted school, Clarke Elementary, to Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Brigade in a ceremony at the school here Nov. 1.

For ten years and through multiple battalion name changes and reorganizations, “Wrangler” Soldiers volunteered their time and service to tutor and mentor students as well as provide support in setting up and running special events.

The 15th Sust. Bde. is scheduled to complete a transition to Fort Bliss Nov. 30. For some, like Col. Larry Phelps, 15th Sust. Bde. commander and Greenville Ala., native, the partnership with the school was personal. Phelps was battalion commander of the 27th Main Support Battalion, a predecessor of the 15th STB, when the battalion adopted the school.

“We’ve been running around this school for a long time,” Phelps said. “We’ve seen some of the kids actually graduate in the area.”

The school’s principal and Lebanon native Bill Diab said the change was bittersweet because one partnership ended while a new one began

“Having the adopted unit that we’ve had has been an awesome experience,” Diab said. “In the past every hour volunteered has been a positive.

“It seems like the volunteers are always there to help out. It’s always nice to have soldiers in uniform at the school. It gives them a sense of safety and their parents.”

Diab said he was excited about starting a new partnership with the WTB.

“I know we are getting an awesome unit,” he said, and reminded the WTB Soldiers in attendance the importance of volunteering.

“You might be volunteering and helping a future president or firefighter – whatever you put in you’re going to get back out of it.”

Col. Paul Hossenlopp, the WTB’s commander and a Cincinnati native, said many people give support to the Wounded Warriors and it was their turn to give back.

“It’s the first chance that Warrior Transition Brigade has had to give back to the community … we’re definitely going to have a positive impact over here.”

Hossenlopp said finding volunteers within his unit was no problem.

According to Diab, some WTB Soldiers saw working with children as their calling.

“Some Soldiers expressed their interest in teaching, and we’re willing to help them,” Diab explained.

According to Hossenlopp, the WTB encourages Wounded Warriors to take part in work programs and continuing education so they can be and do whatever they want in their future careers.

Phelps said the volunteers often think about how they benefit the school, but the Army receives the most benefit as the experience makes great Soldiers better.

“We get all arrogant and think that what we do is all that’s important that goes on at Fort Hood,” Phelps said of Soldiers’ normal business. “This is what’s important.”

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news photoCol. Larry Phelps, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), commander and Greenville Ala., native, congratulates Col. Paul Hossenlopp, the Fort Hood Warrior Transition Brigade commander and a Cincinnati native, after a handover of the 15th’s adopted school, Clarke Elementary, to the WTB in a ceremony at the school here Nov. 1. (U.S. Army photo by Gloria Montgomery, Fort Hood Warrior Transition Battalion Public Affairs)

 

news photoCol. Paul Hossenlopp, the Warrior Transition Brigade’s commander and a Cincinnati native bids farewell to students of Clarke Elementary, the WTB’s newly adopted unit, after an adopt-a-school handover ceremony with 15th Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), here at the school Nov. 1. (U.S. Army photo by Gloria Montgomery, Fort Hood Warrior Transition Brigade Public Affairs)