HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- "Whatever you want to be, whether its a Soldier, astronaut, a doctor or a lawyer... you've got to read, because it is the gas that fuels dreams," said Lt. Col. Christopher Brown, chief of Army Materiel Command's assistance and investigation branch, as he read to energetic kindergarteners.

The U.S. Army Materiel Command supported J.E. Williams Elementary for the annual Read Across America event March 5. Volunteers - both Soldier and civilian - read to kindergarten through fifth grade students.

The featured guest was Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion, AMC deputy commanding general, who read to five classes and answered questions about being in the Army and her job as a general.

"Anytime the military can come and read to my children it instills respect and purpose," said Dr. Donna White, principal. "It is especially great for my girls to see women in her [McQuistion] position. It took her a lot of hard work and discipline to achieve that rank and I want my children to know that if she can do it, they can do it."

Read Across America was originally created as a one-day event to celebrate the joy of reading. It was founded 17 years ago and has since grown into a nationwide event that promotes reading every day.