FORT HOOD, Texas - Killeen, Texas elementary students and 1st Cavalry Division Soldiers held a field day at the school, May 7, as an opportunity to acquaint the unit with their adopted school before the end of the year.

Troops from the 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division accepted an invitation from the students and faculty of Bellaire Elementary School for the first unit level activity since their re-deployment to Fort Hood last winter.

There was a round robin of activities ranging from basketball to three-legged races. Soldiers assisted the teachers in organizing the activities and motivating the students.

"The kids get time from school to come out and have fun learning team work and cooperation," said Rima Price, the school's physical education teacher. "We love having the Soldiers here. They are good sports and really helpful."

After lunch, the elated screams of children spanned the playground as Soldiers and students enjoyed inflatable bounce castles and a riveting tug-of-war tournament.

The students were enthusiastic about the day and many said they were happy to be able to play outside. After weeks of end-of-year testing, the children's energy was palpable.

"Tug-of-war is my favorite," said Ty Kearse, 6. "It's better than puzzles!"

The Soldiers also expressed gratitude in the change of pace.

"This is something fun to do that kind of breaks up the monotony of work," said Spc. Elias Luna, of Clute, Texas.

At the end of the day, teachers and Soldiers walked around the playground and collected recyclables for the "Blacksmith" Soldiers to haul away. The unit gets credit for turning in these items, and comes to the school every quarter to collect.

Activities like this one promote cooperation between the units and their surrounding communities.

"We are connecting with the community and events like this one show them that we are here to work together," said Sgt. 1st Class AndrAfA Chavez, a native of Nampa, Idaho. "We are just like the people in the community and we're here to help."

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