Third-grader Shakerria Hezekiah and SPC Camacho Reyes, 598th Maintenance Company, try to keep several balls bouncing on the parachute Friday during Georgetown Elementary School's field day.

"This was the best field day by far," said fourth-grade teacher Jessica Thorne, who coordinated the event for Georgetown Elementary School.

The difference was the 23 Soldiers in the 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, partners in education with the school, she said.

The Soldiers started setting up for the event at 6 a.m. Friday and manned the different stations like the balloon pop and bean bag toss, directing kids through each relay race.

"I looked out and saw the Soldiers doing push-ups with the kids, running with the kids. They didn't just stand there and explain the directions; they showed them the directions," Thorne said. "They weren't afraid to take off their jackets and get down and dirty. They had a good attitude, and that's really what it's about. It makes the day so much better."

It was the first time the 13th CSSB came out for Georgetown's field day. Thorne said she heard veteran teachers of 20 years and several kids comment on the improvement.

"Last year was kind of good, but this year was super good," said 11-year-old Brady Pitts, a fifth-grader at Georgetown. "You can't even put it into words. It's just too amazing."

Brady said he enjoyed seeing the military vehicles and learning about the Soldiers.

"They inspire me," he said. "They set up the equipment. They helped show us how to do everything. They didn't yell at us (and) were really patient. I hope they come again next year."
SGT Michael Davis, 104th Transportation Company, said this field day is the most memorable of all his volunteer experiences.

"Where do I begin' I loved it," he said. "I got a thrill out of seeing the smiles on the kids' faces. At the end when I was sitting down in my chair, a little kid came and gave me a hug and told me I did a good job. That made me want to come back and do some more work."

SPC Robert Edge, 598th Maintenance Company, said he volunteered for the event because it was an opportunity to be a positive influence in kids' lives.

"We're wearing this uniform; they're going to look up to (us)," he said. "If you teach them now, while they're young, it'll stick with them. You're helping future generations."
For fourth-grader Belle Force, it was her first time being around "Army people," but she enjoyed having them help her through the races.

"While you're running, they talk you through it. They force you to get through it - but in a good way," she said. "They clapped and cheered. They help you out, give you more strength."

The Soldiers were especially helpful in the tug-of-war, providing the "extra strength" to lead the fourth-grade team to a three-for-three victory, Belle said.

Thorne said the event is a solid foundation for a rewarding partnership in the future.
"This was a big blessing having the military here. The intensity of the excitement was definitely heightened," she said.

"It shows the kids that not only are the military our protectors and our heroes, but they're also everyday people who can have fun with kids and play games."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16