FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Most field problems Soldiers tackle are of a tactical nature and do not include activities like tug-of-war, water-balloon toss and sack races, but recently Soldiers from the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division took on a different type of exercise - Field Days with area elementary schools.

"This is something that helps us give back to the community," said Staff Sgt. James Rien, A Battery, 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment, 1-25th SBCT. "It's how we can show that we appreciate them and show our support for them on the home front."

Field Days are among the final events on school calendars and close- out the school year with a fun, active day filled with everything from races and obstacle courses to refreshments. Soldiers served in a variety of roles during last week's Field Days including setting up and running events and cheering for and encouraging students.

"Our Field Day is just for the kids to have fun and enjoy themselves," said Scott Dunavin, Arctic Light Elementary School Physical Education teacher and Field Day coordinator. "Kids like to see the Soldiers out here and to see them having fun. Most of them want to be Soldiers, too."

An added benefit to the collaboration between Fairbanks North Star Borough schools and 1-25th Soldiers for Field Days is continuing long-standing relationships like that between Anne Wien Elementary School and the 25th Brigade Support Battalion, 1-25th SBCT.

"This is an important event," said 2nd Lt. Steve Leader, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 25th BSB, 1-25th SBCT. "The (25th BSB) has partnered with Anne Wien for 10 years. The school has such a long history with the Army and we are really glad to be continuing the partnership."

Soldier participation made the school's event even better, said Richard Brenner, Anne Wien Elementary School Physical Education teacher and Field Day coordinator. "The Soldiers are happy to be here. They have a positive attitude and are laughing and having fun. You couldn't get a better group of people together for this."

It was easy to laugh and have fun with the students, said Sgt. Phillip Coates, B Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1-25th SBCT. "I really like working with kids. This has been fun and (Badger Road Elementary School) was our sponsor when 1-24th was deployed so this is our chance to give back," he said.

Soldiers from 2-8th volunteered with Arctic Light Elementary School for their Field Day, May 10; Soldiers from 25th BSB volunteered with Anne Wien Elementary School for their Field Day, May 11; and Soldiers from 1-24th volunteered with Badger Road Elementary School during their Field Days, May 12-13.

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