HONOLULU -- Patiently waiting to climb up into the towering Army truck and talk on the tactical radio to their classmates in the adjacent vehicle, the children chatted excitedly, having regained their breath after attempting to knock out a push up in a grown-up sized flak jacket.
About a dozen Soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 311th Signal Command (Theater), brought their equipment for static display and interacted with students during Fern Elementary School's annual Drug Free Schools/Jump Rope for the Heart Field Day in Honolulu, Feb. 12.
The Soldiers served as time keepers for the student?'s obstacle course and provide supplies such as camouflage netting, an EZ-Up shelter, and several tactical vehicles on static display for children to explore. The field day is part of the school?'s initiative to promote an active healthy lifestyle and introduce students to positive role models and professional opportunities.
?"I think the Soldiers provide excellent role models for our students," said Cedric Chu, School Counselor for Fern Elementary. ?"What we?'re trying to do with our annual drug free field day, Jump Rope for Heart, is to familiarize our children with healthy activities in life, and show them alternatives to video games, watching TV, and getting in with the wrong crowd. The Soldiers are here with us, providing the obstacle course to help show our students how fun it is to be fit, and hopefully inspire active lifestyles."
?"This is the third consecutive year we were invited to participate in the school?'s field day," said First Sgt. Rebecca Fisher, HHC, 311th SC(T). She said the Soldiers also enjoy the event as a meaningful way to share positive experiences of outdoor activity with the children to form healthy habits for life.
The Soldiers of the 311th have become acquainted with the faculty, staff and students of Fern Elementary during the past few years cooperative reading program, Read Out Loud!, in which Soldiers read to students once a month. The program began in November of 2011 and has received accolades from teachers that the interaction inspired improved behavior.
The 311th SC(T), headquartered at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, is the designated Signal Command for
the Pacific Theater and provides ongoing support for USARPAC TSCP exercises throughout the Pacific and Warfighters around the world.
?"We invite all of our Soldiers to participate in Jump Rope for Heart every year at Fern Elementary School," said Capt. Jason Grams. ?"They look forward to helping the kids with the obstacle course, and interacting and serving as positive adult role models. This drug free event is a great way to demonstrate support for our community."