"Rough Riders" perform, commemorate Black History Month at local school
February 27, 2012
KILLEEN, Texas--Seven Soldiers from 27th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, performed at Peebles Elementary School's Black History Month program here Feb. 9.
Peebles Elementary is 27th BSB's sponsored school in the Adopt-A-School program facilitated by Fort Hood. The Soldiers volunteered to sing a variety of songs by African-American singers from the 60s through the 90s.
Each Soldier was partnered with a student from Peebles, who read a brief biography of the African-American singer, followed by one Soldier performing a song by that artist. Featured were artists from a wide span of history, such as Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Lou Rawls, and Beyonce Knowles.
Capt. Julliet Ayodele, the brigade nurse serving with Company C, 27th BSB, sang "At Last" a song by the recently deceased Etta James. The Houston native said she hoped the kids would enjoy the program and the music and get some education about the featured artists.
The program is an annual event for Peebles Elementary, and the goal is always to educate as well as to entertain, said Ms. Paulette Danzy, the school's parent liason, in her opening speech.
Staff Sgt. Felicia Allen, the armament Noncommissioned Officer in Charge for Company B, 27th BSB, performed "Rock Steady" by Aretha Franklin. This was her third time volunteering for an Adopt-A-School program event.
"The kids seem to really enjoy it when the Soldiers come," said Allen, originally from Chicago.
Spc. Christopher Dotson, a water treatment specialist in Company A, 27th BSB, was a first-time volunteer for the program, but wants to do more.
"It's very important for Soldiers to show up and get involved," he said. It's good to build a positive reputation with the community, Dotson said. During Dotson's first deployment to Iraq, he was part of a group of Soldiers who signed an American flag and sent it back to a school in Killeen. The Los Angeles native was excited to see that very flag hanging on the wall at Peebles, not realizing until now that it was the same school.
"It'd be an honor to come out again," Dotson said.
The Soldiers of the "Rough Riders" battalion will continue their support of the students at Peebles Elementary School as they cement an enduring partnership thoughout the school year.