DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. Aca,!" When most people think of snow angels they think of something people create by laying down in the snow and moving their arms and legs back and forth to create an Aca,!A"angel.Aca,!A? For a group of Detroit Arsenal Middle School and Teen Program staff and youth, the snow angel has taken on a whole new meaning.

During a recent trip home to Detroit from Ann Arbor, Mich., 22 youth and four staff members traveling on two separate busses encountered a severe snow storm.

Aca,!A"We were in Ann Arbor for a familiarization tour of the University of Michigan campus to give the youth a taste of the college going experience,Aca,!A? said Teresa Brodsky, youth services director for the Detroit Arsenal. Aca,!A"One of our staff members is a U of M alumnus and was able to get the students on the floor of the Chrysler Arena and see locations not normally included during a campus visit.Aca,!A?

Aca,!A"During the trip home we found ourselves in a severe snow storm with near whiteout conditions,Aca,!A? added Brodsky. Aca,!A"One of the busses veered into the snow bank on the side of the highway lodging the wheels in the four-foot wall of accumulated snow. We were stuck.Aca,!A?

A staff member immediately called a tow service company who said there may be up to a four hour wait due to the overwhelming number of assistance calls at the time. This is where the snow angel came in.

Army Staff Sgt. David Brainard, a reservist in the 406th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion in Ann Arbor, was passing the vans on the highway and noticed the Army emblem on the side of the vehicle. He immediately pulled off to see if he could be of assistance.

After talking with the staff and realizing they didnAca,!a,,ct have anything to dig with to get the bus out, Brainard grabbed his helmet out of his truck and he and two of the staff members began using it to shovel snow away from the tire area. Once he removed enough snow, he used a chain and pulled them out of the snow using his truck. He then stopped traffic on the highway so they vehicles could get back on the road.

Aca,!A"If Sergeant Brainard hadnAca,!a,,ct stopped to help, we could have been struck there all night,Aca,!A? said Brodsky. Aca,!A"For a program such as our MST program that teaches character counts, we could not have planned a better way to show our young people the importance of service and acts of kindness.Aca,!A?

Aca,!A"The example that he set for our youth that day is an invaluable lesson that reflects highly both on his character and that of the Army uniform,Aca,!A? added Brodsky. Aca,!A"BrainardAca,!a,,cs action led to the safe return of the teens to their parents and reminds us that good character and doing the right thing are still attainable goal for young generations to aspire to.Aca,!A?

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